Doctors may see 'rioters' By MOHAMMED ASLAM Published: 26th February 2008

A COURT has backtracked and granted doctors access to 15 alleged rioters held in police custody since December.

The High Criminal Court will now ask Health Minister Dr Faisal Al Hamer to form a medical committee to examine the men.

Doctors are then expected to submit their findings before the men's next hearing, which is scheduled for March 17.

They must first take oath before the court that they will do their job honestly, said defence lawyer Sami Seyadi. The court on Sunday initially rejected a request by Mr Seyadi for them to be examined by doctors. It followed allegations that the defendants had been mistreated in prison.

The defendants told the judge in the last hearing on Sunday that they had been assaulted by police officers. The Interior Ministry has previously denied the allegation and described it as groundless. Two of the men are accused of stealing and possessing police weapons, while two more are accused of stealing two ammunition magazines.

One of them has been charged with obtaining and possessing a weapon, while 14 of them are accused of torching a police car with Molotov cocktails. The allegations date back to a riot on December 20, one of several violent clashes between police and protesters over the Eid and National Day holidays.

aslam@gdn.com.bh

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