Bab Al-Yemen Explosion, Murderer Stands on Trial! [Archives:1999/34/Front Page]

August 23 1999

SANA’A: Sana’a’s Eastern court, chaired by Judge Mohammed Dahman started its first session in the Bab Al-Yemen explosion. Thirteen people, including the 42-year old murderer, Ali Abdullah Hussein Al-Hijri, were accused in this incident which occurred on Wednesday, August 4th. The general prosecutor listed the following accusations: 
-The murder of 5 innocent men with a Russian made hand grenade thrown into a crowd of 42 people. 
-The murder of 2 men with his machine gun. 
-The attempted killing of 38 people with an explosive Russian hand grenade. 
-Attempted murder with a deadly weapon on three innocent men. 
-Assault of a number of policemen while trying to save the injured and trying to stabilize conditions. 
-Breaking and Entering into the house of Fatima Ali Zeyd Al-Sayyani. 
-Carrying deadly arms and explosives without a license. 
The prosecutor also accused the 4 men of attempting to deceive Al-Hijri by selling him a watch for a much higher price than it is worth. After realizing that the watch was not worth the price, Al-Hijri demanded his YR 4,000 back. However, the watch salesman refused and instead Ammar Mohammed Murad took the watch and ran away. The murderer then could not control his nerves and threw the bomb at him in a crowd. 
The 12 men were also accused by the attorney to have tried to gain profit by misleading the customer to buy a watch that does not have a value of no more than YR 500 for YR 2000. 
The prosecutor demanded that the death penalty be imposed on Al-Hijr and sentence the rest to prison. 
Attorney Mohammed Naji Allaw had been appointed by the families of the victims in this case. On the other hand, Abdulmalik Al-Khateeb and Mohamed Ahmed Hameed were appointed as the lawyers of the 12 other defendants, while Al-Hijri had no legitimate lawyer because his family did not want to provide legal representation. 
All in all, despite all the attempts of the prosecution to have Al-Hijri confess, he did not say a word in the whole hearing. The next session is scheduled to be held next week. Depending on official sources, the incident originated from an argument between Al-Hijri and a watch salesmen for the price of a watch.