Even thugs and killers sometimes tell the truth. Bolstered by a sense of self-righteousness and certain that they will never be brought to justice for their crimes, they cockily blurt out the one thing that gives defence lawyers a fainting fit.
Bahraini regime, above the law? “We are superior,” they say, “and we cannot be brought before a criminal court because” – (and you can hear the thuds as the lawyers collapse to the floor) – “we are above the law.”
Yes, the torturers, perverts, thugs and killers not only believe that they are entitled to torture and kill but that they will never pay the price, in this life or the next. This is because they arrogantly believe they are outside and beyond all morality and deign to admit the existence of the law.
Yet robust judges never listen to this and respond that if a defendant knows that a system of law exists, then it is his duty to acquaint himself with what it says. (Generally, ignorance of the law is no defence. If it were, everybody and his dog would plead Not Guilty to a charge of speeding, for example, on the grounds that they thought a sign saying 60 or 80 means minimum, rather than maximum, speed…)
Which ought to be a salutary reminder to the Prime Minister of Bahrain who, addressing Lieutenant Colonel Mubarak bin Huwaila policeman torturer who specialises in torturing medics and has been acquitted by a corrupt Bahraini court, said that the torturer, and the regime, are above the law.
The Prime Minister, no doubt struggling under the weight of his name His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa spoke these words:
“These laws cannot be applied to you. No one can touch this bond. Whoever applies these laws against you is applying them against us. I am here to thank you, Mubarak, for your patience and good work….”
That’s clear. Indeed, Qassim al-Hashemi, of the Bahrain International Mission in London, says that the Bahraini Prime Minister is declaring frankly that the law of Bahrain or any other law in the world does not cover them (the regime) nor the people whom they protect (i.e., the torturers).
And this, of course, completely wrecks the meretricious case frequently put forward by the apologists and cowards of the British Foreign Office who like to pretend that very little, if any, torture is done in Bahrain and, if anybody dies, then it is, very largely, an accident.
Oh no it’s not! We now have the admission, straight from the horse’s mouth as it were, that the torture and the killings are done by those who assert they can do what they like because they are above the law! Such an assertion not only wrecks any defence in a criminal court but also wrecks the case, already pitifully weak, of the sickly UK Foreign Office who are then left with their remaining argument that supporting the torturers and killers is all about maintaining trade.
Oh no it’s not! It’s about protecting torturers and killers and if the UK really wants to increase its Middle East trade it should promote genuinely democratic revolutions in the Persian Gulf autocracies and will then reap the everlasting gratitude of the, at the moment, oppressed populations.
Yet, no doubt after having taken advice from lawyers as they struggle to lift themselves off the floor, the Prime Minister is apparently attempting to correct the terrible faux pas of saying that he, the regime and its officers are above the law. Regime propaganda organs are now claiming that the good Prime Minister is sharply reviewing his remarks to say that no one is above the law (although whether the Prime Minister has said it or whether the said propaganda organs are saying it for him is an open question….)
But it’s too late, Prime Minister! There’s a video on the internet and it is being avidly viewed by lawyers and millions of other people who are rubbing their hands in the hope of another instalment.
The good Prime Minister is in need of a little education and it is recommended that he start by having a look at the Nuremburg Trials held over the period 1945-1946 when claims about being above or outside the law got short shrift. He might then move on to some infamous murder cases where the defendants tried various defences, including insanity, and then consider if he will have a defence.
After that he should then go on to read a little history from which he will discover that hubris (the extreme pride that comes before the fall, as identified by the ancient Greeks) is not a sensible principle upon which to build the political fortunes of a regime particularly one as corrupt as the one in Bahrain.
Finally, he should then ruefully reflect that we all make mistakes in life and, in his case, the mistake will one day mean life imprisonment.