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Intelligence agents file plea against convictions

TWO intelligence agents jailed for seven years each for causing the death of a businessman during the unrest in 2011 have lodged an appeal against their convictions.

The National Security Agency (NSA) officers were convicted of manslaughter by the High Criminal Court on December 30.

They later filed an appeal at the Supreme Criminal Appeals Court, where they appeared yesterday to plead not guilty at their first appeal hearing.

Abdulkarim Fakhrawi, 49, died at the BDF Hospital on April 11, 2011 due to injuries he suffered in custody after allegedly being repeatedly hit with a toilet seat by two agents.

The High Criminal Court ruled the defendants were not acting in self-defence.

They took the toilet seat from the victim's hand and continuously beat him, according to court documents.

Judges earlier sent the case back to the Public Prosecution for failing to properly investigate the allegations.

The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report concluded Mr Fakhrawi died as a result of torture.

He had founded a publishing house, owned the construction company that built the Iraqi Embassy in Bahrain and was a co-founder and board member at opposition newspaper Al Wasat.

BICI investigations concluded he was one of five people who died as a result of torture following the outbreak of unrest in 2011.

The NSA claimed in its submission to the BICI that Mr Fakhrawi had attacked two NSA officers during his incarceration, resulting in a brawl in which one of the officers was hit in the face with a toilet seat lid.

The case was originally heard in a National Safety Court, but was transferred to the civilian courts as part of government efforts to implement recommendations of the BICI report.

Mr Fakhrawi reportedly went to a police station on April 3, 2011 after police surrounded his relative's home in Karbabad the night before while he was there.

However, his family did not know what had happened to him until they were informed nine days later that he was dead.

The appeal was adjourned until March 31 to summon a medical examiner.



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