DUBAI - Leaders of a Bahraini uprising last year, whose prison sentences were upheld by a court on Tuesday, were in "intelligence contact" with Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah, a public prosecution official said on Tuesday.

"It is established clearly to us from this verdict that some of the accused had relations and strived to have relations and intelligence contacts with a foreign organization, which is Hezbollah, which works in the interests of Iran," Wael Boualai told a news conference, in comments carried by state media.

Six of the 20 men whose sentences were upheld were found guilty of "intelligence contacts with foreign bodies". They were also jailed for offenses including trying to overturn the system of government and violating the constitution. The 20 deny all charges against them, saying they wanted only democratic reform.

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