MANAMA (AA) – A Bahraini court on Tuesday stripped 138 individuals of citizenship for terrorism charges, according to the official BNA news agency.
A total of 169 defendants were convicted of "establishing and joining a terrorist group", Bahrain’s Fourth High Criminal Court ruled in the case known to media as "the Bahraini Hezbollah case".
Sixty-nine defendants were sentenced to life in prison, 30 were acquitted while the rest received imprisonment sentences between three to seven years.
Tuesday's verdict is not final and can be challenged before a higher-level court.
Late last year, “public prosecutors received a report from the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) regarding the formation of a terrorist cell inside Bahrain at the behest of Iranian regime leaders,” BNA said.
In September, Bahraini authorities referred 169 people to court on charges of attempting to set up a “Bahraini Hezbollah” organization in the kingdom, according to media reports.
Bahrain frequently accuses Iran of interfering in its internal affairs -- an allegation Tehran denies.