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Bahraini court frees hospital staff.

Manama A Bahraini court yesterday allowed 20 medical and paramedical staff charged with inciting anti-government sentiment to go home pending the announcement of its verdict on September 29.

The National Safety Lower Court said that the decision to free the doctors was made upon a request from their lawyers.

Charges brought against the doctors and paramedical staff include forcefully occupying a public facility, illegal possession of weapons, inciting others to overthrow the existing political dispensation, seizing medical equipment among other charges, Yousuf Rashid Flaifal, the military public prosecutor, said.

Trial postponed

"The court listened to the witnesses produced by the lawyers and decided to postpone the trial to September 29," he said. "However, final pleadings should be presented before September 19. The court also decided to free the suspects on the guarantee of their home addresses," Flaifal said.

The trial of medical and paramedical staff, mainly from the Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain's largest hospital, has been shrouded in deep controversy amid contrasting versions about events that took place there during four weeks of unrest in February and March.

Doctors and their supporters insist that they braved huge difficulties and provided invaluable care for people injured during demonstrations and clashes. However, the authorities say the doctors abused their responsibilities to further political and ideological agendas.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Sep 8, 2011
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