BAHRAIN: Attorney General leads evidence only on the most serious of the Doctors’ cases, and calls on defence counsel to stop delaying the resolution of the cases

Manama, 5 March (BNA) 2012: In his opening remarks in the case involving the 20 medical professionals, the Attorney General, Dr Ali Buainain, explained that the Public Prosecution would only be leading evidence with respect to the small number of accused involved in the most serious criminal violations.
The Attorney General went on to explain that the acts of the remaining accused, such as breaching patient confidentiality by allowing cameras into the hospital, leading protests inside the hospital and transforming it into a political arena, and worst of all, discriminating against patients based on their sect, are most appropriately dealt with as breaches of the code of ethics for medical professionals and were therefore best dealt with by a medical disciplinary board. All of these acts, and more, are also described in the Report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (see especially paragraphs 836, 837 and 838). The Attorney General observed that “there is no greater sanction for a professional than that which comes from his peers”.

The Attorney General also expressed disappointment that defence counsel continued to adopt delaying tactics in the case to advance agendas that should have no place in the courtroom. The grounds for the delay were baseless given the decision last year by the Attorney General not to use any confession evidence and to drop all speech related charges against the doctors (see also BICI Report, paragraph 830). The ground had been set since last year for a fair and full examination of the evidence. In light of this, justice demanded that the cases be dealt with expeditiously. Therefore the Attorney General concluded his remarks by requesting the court to expedite the resolution of the cases