Our justice system has finally come to terms with itself and has decided to tell the rest of the world the following:

The cost of white trash is: BD172.4 (BD10,000 % 58) per soul.
Indian labour: three years in prison for following 'orders'
Bahraini accused of manslaughter: 10 year prison sentence and walking out Free after paying BD10,000 bail!

The Bahraini owner of the ill-fated Al Dana dhow was jailed for 10 years yesterday, for the manslaughter of 58 people who died when the vessel capsized.Businessman Abdulla Al Kobaisi was given the maximum sentence possible by the Lower Criminal Court, because of the number of victims involved.

However, Mr Al Kobaisi was immediately released on BD10,000 bail, pending appeal against the verdict.

Indian dhow captain Rajendrakumar Ramjibhai was jailed for three years for manslaughter, effective immediately.

He was arrested shortly after the disaster on March 30 last year and the 13 months he has spent in custody will count as part of his sentence.

Judge Adham Shalby said the door was now open for compensation claims through the civil court, saying that victims' relatives would be exempted from court fees.

Mr Al Kobaisi said he was innocent of blame and had confidence in the judicial system to clear him on appeal.

"I had nothing to do with it. God will save me," he told the GDN last night.

This is what the Lower Criminal Court ruled yesterday after 14 agonising months from the sinking of the Al Dana Dhow - in which 58 human beings perished on the shores of Bahrain.

The drama surrounding the bunker bed which was transformed into a dhow and allowed to sail around Bahrain as a floating tomb right under the noses and eyes of authorities has thus reached its climax.

What do the families of the victims have to say?
Not that it matters, really. But for decency's sake let's give Mrs Alison Moody, whose husband died trying to rescue others, the chance to vent out:

A BRITISH woman, whose husband died saving her life in Bahrain dhow tragedy, yesterday hit out at the verdict reached in the criminal case, describing it as a "disgrace".Alison Moody said allowing the vessel's owner Abdulla Al Kobaisi to walk free after paying BD10,000 bail was an insult to those who lost their lives in the disaster.

He was jailed for 10 years, but his sentence is suspended pending appeal upon payment of the money.

However, Mrs Moody thinks he should not have been given the opportunity to walk out of court.

She also thinks Indian captain Rajendrakumar Ramjibhai has been made a scapegoat and does not believe he should have been punished.

"I think it is disgusting," she said. "He should have to serve the 10 years or they should have given him a fine he would have found impossible to pay. He is going to walk free. It is pathetic. He should suffer like we have suffered."

Mrs Moody is also puzzled why only the dhow owner and the vessel's captain were indicted in the criminal case and believes many other parties should have been prosecuted.

"The whole thing has just been one big joke," she said. "It is as if they are trying to brush it under the carpet."

"I think it will make people more angry," she said.

"The whole system stinks. I just hope the result of the civil case will not go the same way. I am not going to back off and will fight to the end."

This is my Bahrain people. This is my justice system. This is what we are trying to tell the world about how transparent we are and how everyone is above the law. Thank you Lower Criminal Court! You have once again tarnished the reputation of my country beyond repair. You have once again created families who think our court system is a farce. You have once again reinforced to me personally what I have witnessed all my life living in Wonderland. Thank you for giving me that reality check.


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