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Bahraini Court Jails Cleric in Policeman Kidnapping Plot


A man passes a billboard in Muharraq, Bahrain, demanding no leniency for those who opposed the Bahraini regime (File Photo - April 28, 2011)

A man passes a billboard in Muharraq, Bahrain, demanding no leniency for those who opposed the Bahraini regime (File Photo - April 28, 2011)

A Bahraini security court has sentenced a prominent Shi'ite cleric and eight other people to 20 years in prison for the alleged abduction of a policeman.

Bahrain's state news agency did not provide details of the kidnapping. It says Shi'ite cleric Mohammed Habib al-Saffaf and the other eight suspects sentenced on Thursday have the right to appeal.

The Gulf state's minority Sunni rulers set up the security court under emergency laws implemented in March to help them crack down on anti-government protests led by majority Shi'ites.

The Bahraini security court is presided over by civil and military judges. It previously sentenced four people to death for the killing of two policemen during the pro-democracy protests, which began in February.

Bahrain's ruling al-Khalifa family has said the emergency laws will be lifted on June 1. Officials have said 24 people were killed in the unrest.

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