Six detainees released on bail in Sohar rioting case

Muscat: Six more detainees from Sohar were freed on Wednesday after the first hearing at the Primary Court in Al Khuwair area of Muscat.

Khaled Al Hamdholi and Ammar Al Hinai were denied bail as they face charge of assaulting a police officer on duty. However, both denied the charges.

According to an activist, Ammar in fact was the victim of police assault when he was beaten up in raid by riot police on February 27 while camping at the Globe Roundabout in Sohar.

According to an activist, who attended the trial, there were about 10 lawyers defending different groups in the case. The defence lawyers demanded the case file before the judge could go ahead with the proceedings.

“The judge asked the lawyers to collect the case files from Bid Bid today,” the eye witness to the case told Gulf News.

The hearing, during which visitors were not allowed to carry any electronic gadgets, including mobile phones inside, lasted for over two hours.

Yousuf Sahin and Barman, two of the Imams being tried in the case, were also charged with delivering sermon and conducting prayers at a public place that were considered inappropriate.

Of the eight in detention, six, including the alleged leader of the Gang of Dragon, Khalfan Al Makabali, were given bail. Ali Al Badi, Ali Gaiti, Hilal Al Alawi, Majid Al Maamari and Khalid Al Sheedi were the others released on bail.

Al Makabali was arrested on charges of forming a gang to cause sabotage in Sohar by using weapons, including Molotov bombs.

All together 27 people are on trial for disrupting traffic, blocking roundabout, rioting and assaulting public servants on duty. However, only eight were under detention at the country’s Central Prison in Sumayil after others were released on bail earlier.

Idris Maamari, one of the 27 protesters put on trial on the charges of rioting, could not attend the case today, according to one of the activists.

All the accused denied all the charges against them during the first hearing.

The six released on bail were taken to Sumayil Central Prison from where they will be set free. It is learnt from reliable sources that the two, who are still in custody, could be released on bail during next hearing, scheduled for May 23.

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