Cole hearing delayed again [Archives:2005/806/Local News]

January 10 2005

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
The Sana'a Counter-Terrorism Appeal Court decided to postpone the final hearing in the USS Cole bombing case to next Saturday.

During the hearing Jan. 8, the court judge Saeed al-Kattaa listened to the argument made by the defendants advocate Abdulkaziz al-Samawi against the allegations of the prosecution. Al-Samawi argued that the trial of the 6 defendants was not performed in accordance with the law.

“I confirm that the trial was not carried out according to the law. These defendants were arrested for four years without any legal warrant or investigation, only two weeks before the trial started. The law says that imprisoning people for over 24 hours without interrogation is something illegal,” he argued.

He added that both “the prosecution and the intelligence should respect law and order,” adding that the prosecutor is defending “groundless procedures.”

He reiterated that his clients were subject to physical torture and psychological pressure.”

The preliminary court verdict was based on confessions made by the defendants under threat and pressure; they were even interrogated without any advocacy,” he claimed. He said that the prosecution wants to present the defendants as an escape goat, adding that the prosecution influenced the court to the extent that it issued verdicts that it was not convinced with.

The prosecutor demanded in the last hearing session that the appeal made by the defendants advocate should not be accepted and that the defendant Fahd al-Qis'e should be sentenced to death as well as intensifying the jail sentence against Morad al-Sorori and Mamoon Amswah.

The Sana'a Counter-Terrorism Court sentenced September 28th Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri , held in US custody and Jamal al-Badawi, to death for orchestrating, plotting, preparing and involvement in the bombing of the US warship.

Judge Najib al-Qaderi sentenced Fahd al-Qis'e to 10 years in jail for filming the bombing. The court said that al- Qis'e had traveled to Afghanistan in 1997 to train at an al Qaeda terrorist camp.

The fourth convicted person Mamoon Amswah received an eight-year prison term for delivering money used in preparing and executing the attack and playing a close role in assisting al-Badawi.

Ali Mohamed Murakab and Morad al-Sorori were both sentenced to five years in prison for forging identification documents for Hasan al-Khameri under the name of Abdullah Ahmad Khaled al-Misawa, one of the suicide bombers.

The six men were all charged with belonging to al Qaeda and playing various roles in the attack on the Cole, which was carried out by suicide bombers Ibrahim al-Thawr, Hasan al-Khamiri, and a third unnamed person who rammed an explosives-laden boat into the destroyer. Al-Thawr and al-Khameri traveled to Bangkok and received $36, 000 from al-Nasheri for the terrorist operation. The court judge said it was clear to him that the convicted six militants were found guilty, setting up an armed gang to carry out terrorist acts, including the attack on the USS Cole.