DUBAI - Bahrain's public prosecutor charged two leaders of the country's banned main opposition party of spying for Qatar on Wednesday, months after cutting ties with the neighboring Gulf monarchy amid a regional diplomatic row.
Sheikh Ali Salman, secretary general of al-Wefaq party, and Sheikh Hassan Sultan are accused of colluding with Qatar to carry out "hostile acts" in Bahrain and damage its national interests and prestige, according to a statement on state news agency BNA.
The men met Qatari officials as well as affiliated agents inside Lebanese Shi'ite militia Hezbollah, the statement said. It accused them of transferring confidential information and receiving financial support from Qatar.
The prosecutor ordered that both men be taken into custody.
Salman's wife Alya Radhi wrote on Twitter that she had spoken by phone with her husband, who denied all charges. There was no immediate comment from al-Wefaq.
Salman is already serving a four-year prison sentence for inciting hatred and insulting the interior ministry, after he was arrested in 2015.
He was summoned and interrogated about the new accusations in the presence of his lawyer, the statement said.
It did not elaborate on whether Sultan was detained.