Bahrain gives Shiite cleric one year suspended sentence

A Bahrain court sentenced a prominent Shiite cleric and two others to one-year suspended prison sentence on Sunday and seized their assets. Shaikh Eisa Qasim faced charges of money laundering and fuelling extremism in Bahrain. Authorities stripped Qasim of his citizenship last June, sparking fears his trial would see him deported from the country. The money laundering case revolves around a Shiite tax known as “Khums” (One fifth) collected by a senior religious figure whom individuals follow.

It arose after investigators discovered more than $10 million in an account held by Qasim. The prosecution added that other holdings were in real estate. Supporters said the funds were part of a Shiite tradition that allowed senior figures to collect the tax and spend it in the interest of ordinary Muslims.

 

The public prosecution will undertake the legal measures to enforce the verdicts once they are final and will then enforce the rulings, including the confiscation of the seized assets, the advocate general said.

 

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