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Bahrain Shi'ite cleric goes on trial for money laundering

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The spiritual leader of Bahrain's Shi'ite Muslim majority went on trial on Wednesday on charges of collecting donations illegally and money laundering in a case that has increased tensions in the Western-allied Gulf Arab state.

Ayatollah Isa Qassim, who also faces expulsion from the country after authorities revoked his citizenship last month for alleged foreign links and fomenting violence, says the charges are part of a political crackdown on majority Shi'ites to stop them from pushing for political reforms.

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