Case Deferred

17 Apr, '07

We went to the court this morning with a number of people already present and offered their support. But due to the main judge’s family bereavement, for which I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Shaikh Mohammed bin Ali on the passing of his mother, the case has been administratively deferred to be heard on May 8th.

I would also like to sincerely thank everyone who was present and all of those who called, emailed and texted their support as well.

In particular I would like to thank the lead advocate Ms. Fatima Al-Hawaj and the legal team offered by the Bahrain Human Rights Society to assist Ms. Al-Hawaj in the case, Lawyers Nawaf Al-Sayed and Lo’ay Qarouni; Tawfiq Al-Rayyash, Nabeel Rajab of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, the head of the Bahrain Journalists Union Mohammed Fadhel, journalists Mohammed Al-Sawwad from Al-Waqt (who was involved very recently in a similar case), Mohammed Aslam of the GDN, Mohammed Abbas of Reuters, Sandeep Singh Grewal from the Bahrain Tribune and Adel Al-Shaikh from Al-Wasat.

I would also like to sincerely thank my family who have always stood by me. My wife Frances, my brother Jamal and sister Maha as well as my children. I am sure that if my other siblings were in Bahrain they would have not hesitated an instant by being present to offer their support.

The legal team have asked for the case’s documents for their review and preparation, and we await the new court’s date to present our case before the High Criminal Court.

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Comments (22)

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  1. Global Voices Online » Bahrain: Blogger’s Hearing Postponed | 18 Apr, '07
  1. Abu Arron says:

    Notwithstanding the obvious sadness at the passing of Sheikh Mohammed’s mother, it is unfortunate that you have this case hanging over your head for a few more weeks.

    Chin up, I’m sure that it will be resolved (dismissed) eventually.

  2. Firstly, i offer my sincere condolences to Shaikh Mohammed bin Ali and members of his family on the sad death of his mother.

    Mahmood,

    I would have liked this issue to be concluded and you declared innocent now rather than a prolonged outcome. Nevertheless, as things go, this might be a blessing in disguise since you have stated that;
    “The legal team have asked for the case’s documents for their review and preparation, and we await the new court’s date to present our case before the High Criminal Court.”
    they will definitely be even more prepared for the next court appearance date.

    I wish you the best and hope a level minded ‘divine intervention’ ensues before that time.

  3. كل تأخيره فيها خيره انشالله :kissing:

  4. Bernie says:

    I’m sorry for Shaikh Mohammed bin Ali’s loss but it’s upsetting that you will have to wait with this problem Mahmood.
    I still see a dismissal as well considering you are now making international news sites.

    On a brighter note, very cool pic there with the Apple laptop. 😉

  5. Who's-sane says:

    Best of luck Mahmood!

  6. Ibn says:

    كل تأخيره فيها خيره انشالله

    LOL! Very true! 🙂

    -Ibn

  7. Jonathan says:

    Hope you can bring justice in the High court. if you need legal help i’ll be happy to help you.

    J.

  8. Ingrid says:

    Wow, what a relief, albeit temporarily! I will continue to write on this and as you said, it is not just about ‘you’, but about freedom of speech. Now go and do some gardening!
    Ingrid

  9. I says:

    Mahmood,

    Why was my first post, one that asked about whether any of the opposing team was present, removed?
    I pose the question again, out of general interest.
    Were any of the team who challenged you, present in the court?
    I ask this because it brings up a major flaw in the Bahraini legal system. That flaw is that someone can bring a case against another, and then not turn up at court. What happend to ‘contempt of court’ for goodness sakes?
    By allowing contempt, the Bahraini legal system is seriously letting down it’s constituents. Imagine, someone brings a case against someone else. The second person turns up at court only to find that the first person doesn’t attend. The case is adjounred for three months. Again the plaintif doesn’t turn up, the case is adjourned for another three months. In the meantime the poor sod that has had the case against him, cannot work, cannot pay the bills and is rapridly becoming destitute. On top of that, he can’t leave the country because there is a case against him. What the hell is he supposed to do ? ? ?
    Until contempt of court is realised and brought under control, I do not believe that there is any chance of real justice in this country.

    Cheers

    I

    P.S. What DID happen to my origiinal post ? ? ?

  10. mahmood says:

    No idea I, probably the spambustinghobgoblins got it, lemme check…

  11. mahmood says:

    Until contempt of court is realised and brought under control, I do not believe that there is any chance of real justice in this country.

    They allow a representative to be present in court in your stead, and yes I agree that even those can just skive off which necessitates – in the pursuit of justice and fairness – a delay in the proceedings. As the courts are backed up with cases, the deferred hearing can take weeks if not months to be heard again.

    Getting “contempt of court” enacted would be a good thing; a thing that almost landed my daughter and wife to be party of yesterday as my daughter was wearing a skirt (reaching under her knee and quite modest) the police stopped her at the gate and refused to let her in. Only after consultations with his superiors did he allow her to enter with a warning to not even think of approaching the Shari’a Courts!

    My wife had her legs crossed as she sat in court. That would have demonstrated contempt for the court had she not been told to not do so by a knowledgeable friend.

    Both of these seem to be much more important than having a defendant or plaintiff present!

  12. mahmood says:

    Not in the spam queue I, no idea what happened! Sorry.

  13. captain Arab says:

    May the 8th is in a couple of weeks… I guess nobody is going anywhere… By the way Mahmood, will the Minister be present at the upcoming hearing considering that he has instigated and pushed for a court session???

  14. Grace says:

    Mahmood, I truly hope all goes well for you at the hearing.

    As always, I do admire your courage to fight for what you beleive in. Remember, This incident is merely a backlash for this courage.

    Don’t let it get you down.

    You are in our hearts and minds.

  15. nasrawi says:

    Inshallah 5eir May 8 7abibi

    This is how they kill the fourth estate: either with mass media being dictated by governmental/corporate ideologies or by silencing those media that are ‘non-conformist’ with regard to the above.

    It’s really crazy whats going on around the world with this shit – with you, sabba7, Karim il-Masri… Anyway, our support is with you and let me know if I can help from where I am.

  16. Hi Mahmood. You bet I would’ve been there with you. Hopefully the case will get thrown out. I’ll see you at the end of May.

  17. Ibn says:

    My wife had her legs crossed as she sat in court. That would have demonstrated contempt for the court had she not been told to not do so by a knowledgeable friend.

    Once during a case of mine in traffic court I was told by the judge to get rid of a piece of gum I was chewing.

    -Ibn

  18. I says:

    M,
    My initial question is still unanswered.

    Was the illustrious minister, or any member of his legal team, present at the court?

    If not, why not?
    If not, is there no legal course of action to force the party concerned to attend?

    If I were the judge, I’d send round the bailiffs (or equivalent) and frog-march his sorry a** to the courthouse, then charge him with wasting the court’s time. But, hey, I’m like that. 🙂

    It would certainly speed up the legal process since people would turn up at the appointed time and get the business done.

    It seems very unfair for someone to turn up at the court only to find that the other party can’t be arsed to get out of bed that morning and attend. It means unnecessary delays and a general frustration with the legal system, and adds to the backlog of the courts. Something should be done about this !

    I’ll get off my soapbox now . . .

  19. mahmood says:

    His lawyer was present for sure.

  20. AGA says:

    I am not sure that I understand the discussion regarding contempt of court. In the legal systems with which I am familiar (Bahrain’s system not being one of them) the contempt power is an inherent power of the court. In other words, courts by necessity if they are to function as “courts”, or by definition, have the power to hold parties in contempt. They also have statutory power of contempt, and they excercise both powers to punish “contempt” of court. Loosely defined, “contempt” is any wilful act, omission, or statement that tends to impair the authority or impede the functioning of a court. Appellate review of the trial court’s excercise of contempt power is reviewed for abuse of discretion.

    My supposition is that the High Criminal Court has different rules for different parties, or that someone gave the accuser’s attorney a heads up regarding the adjournment and excused his client’s appearance, not that it lacks the power to hold in contempt of court a party who wilfully fails to appear.

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