Appeals court acquits 19 Al-Qaeda-linked suspects [Archives:2006/996/Front Page]

November 6 2006

Mohammed Al-Jabri
SANA'A, Nov. 4 ) A Sana'a appeals court acquitted 19 alleged Al-Qaeda members Saturday on charges of conducting terrorist acts targeting Americans in Yemen. The court ruled that the suspects, who included five Saudi nationals, were innocent of plotting to assassinate Westerners and blow up a hotel frequented by Americans.

However, Judge Sa'eed Al-Qatta did convict six of the suspects of forging official documents, but stated that the court found no evidence that the 19 had formed an armed gang.

Ali Hussein (also known as Abu Ali Al-Harethi), Ammar Fadhel, Abdullah Al-Shejarah, Mohammed Hadhban and Saudi nationals Mohammed Al-Qahtani and Muhsen Mubarak were convicted of forging official documents. Hussein and Fadhel were sentenced to three years' imprisonment, beginning from their arrest date, while the remaining four were sentenced to time served and subsequently released.

The 13 other suspects acquitted were Jamal Saif Al-Maqrami, Abdullah Hassan Al-Obadi, Ali Mohammed Al-Kurdi, Majed Al-Zahrani, Mohammed Al-Qirshi, Bandar Al-Hasani, Ahmed Hizam Al-Zaheri, Sa'd Abdul-Ghani Al-Baloushi, Musaed Al-Barbari, Mohammed Sa'eed Al-Kabsh, Hassan Al-Baili, Jalal Al-Kadas and Aqil Jar Allah.

During their four-month trial, the suspects maintained their innocence, with several alleging that they were arrested because they had fought in Iraq.