Prosecution witnesses testify in Sohar protest case

Muscat: Witnesses from government offices gave their testimony against 27 people at the trial that went on for almost eight hours at the Primary Court in Muscat on Wednesday.

The next date for hearing has now been set on June 8. “There were two separate trials today, one for criminal offences and another for civil issues,” Ismail Al Badi, one of the leading activists during the protest at Sohar’s Globe Roundabout, told Gulf News.

He said the prosecution witnesses from government offices in Sohar gave their testimony on Wednesday.

“They mainly spoke about how protesters attacked government institutions and forced them to leave their work place,” he said about the testimony.

Al Badi was arrested twice once for 11 days in Sohar and again in Muscat for three days but charges against him were dropped after signing a bond on both occasion that he would not take part in any demonstrations again. The court also heard about the blockade of roads and closing of the roundabout by the demonstrators in Sohar.

Al Badi said that from defence point of view today’s hearing was satisfactory although prosecution brought witnesses to support their charges of vandalising and stopping work at government offices. The 27 accused, all out on bail, are facing charges, ranging from disrupting and blocking traffic, causing damage to public and private properties, conducting prayers and giving religious sermons at inappropriate places and assaulting security officers on duty.

Over 10 lawyers are defending different detainees.

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