Court bans publishing hearings of 15 al-Qaeda suspects’ tribunal, military trial proceedings claimedAdvocates quit again [Archives:2004/748/Front Page]

June 21 2004

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
The Sana'a Criminal Court for Terrorism ordered that the accounts of hearings of the trial of 15 al-Qaeda suspects charged with several terrorists operations should not be published, while 15 advocates announced their withdrawal due to the perceived injustice of the tribunal.
The prosecution in the first hearing held May 29th charged the fifteen suspected terrorists with blowing up the French oil tanker Limburg in Mukalla in October 2002, carrying out several explosions in Sana'a, killing one soldier and plotting to blow up five embassies in Sana'a as well as plotting for killing the US Ambassador to Yemen, Edmund Hull.
The court resumed its fifth hearing last Saturday amidst intensified security measures, banning journalists from attending the session. However, journalists denounced the harassment and staged a protest directed at the office of the Minister of Justice, Dr. Adnan al-Jefri. They protested against the discrimination between state-run and independent media. The Minister responded positively and told the journalists that it was their right to attend the sessions as the law does not make the hearings closed to the media. He ordered the court judge to let journalists in. However, when journalists went again to the court they were let in, but Judge Ahamd al-Jemuzi said only the decisions taken by the court, not the proceedings, should be published.
Advocates of the 15 al-Qaeda suspects announced their withdrawal from the case due to the absence of a fair trial in the tribunal processing the case. They said in a press conference outside the court that they decided to quit together because they were denied access to copies of the investigations reports despite the orders given by the court judge in this respect. They said the tribunal is military and their presence is meant to be just a puppet decoration, which they refuse. “As long as the Judge is still under the control of the prosecutor, there is no possibility for justice,” the advocates said. The Court Judge said after hearing the complaints of the lawyers ordered that they should be given a copy of the charges report and to be allowed to look into the investigations report, which the advocates refused.
The fifth session did not see any progress in the tribunal. The 15 advocates were still asking for a copy of the investigation reports. They also demanded that their clients should be taken from the prison of the Political Security Organization to the Central Prison. They were also complaining that the suspects were put in underground cells.
On their part, the suspects, who were heedless and smiling behind the bar, denounced the tribunal and said it was run by the military, where “the American domination and pressure is very clear.” The suspects started denouncing the US; they even exchanged bad words with the representatives of the US government. The leading member of the group Fawaz al-Rabee said that the head of the PSO told them they would not get any treatment, except that one which their friends get in the Guantanamo Bay from the Americans. The defendants were repeating after him words from Islamic hymns showing their pride in their alleged actions. They were also repeating “Allah Akbar”.
The Prosecutor, Saeed al-Akil, said in the first hearing that the suspected terrorists rented a house in Hadramaut to store explosives and another to get the boat prepared. He said the boat cost was $20,000. They also bought two tons of explosives and loaded the boat with approximately 1150-1250 kilos of TNT and 20 kilos of C4, plus a number of flashtubes. The operation against the tanker left one dead and caused, according to the prosecutor, an environment catastrophe. He also accused some of them, mainly Fawaz al-Rabee, of firing against the helicopter owned by the US oil company Hunt, wherein one of the crew was wounded. He said seven rockets were launched against the plane in addition to over 150 bullets fired by Hizam Mujali. The prosecution also accused them of carrying out several terrorist explosions in different parts of the capital Sana'a, including at the office of the intelligence services and house of one of its directors. The charges also included a plot to blow up the US, UK, French, German and Cuban embassies in Sana'a as well as killing the US Ambassador to Yemen, Edmund Hull.
Some of the suspects denied the charges but some admitted them, mainly the plot to kill the US Ambassador. Saleem al-Dailami said that they wanted to restore the dignity of the government by killing Edmund Hull and take revenge for Abu Ali al-Harithi who was killed by an American drone in the desert of Marib in November 2002.

The 15 suspected terrorists names on trial
1-Omar Saeed Hasan Jarallah, alias Ibn Hafidh, 26
2- Fawzi Yahia al-Hababi, alias Abu al-Shaheed, 26, jobless
3-Mohammed Saeed Ali al-Amari, alias Abu Gharib al-Taeezi, 25, jobless
4-Fawzi Gharib alias Abu Musab al-Taeezi, 24, student
5-Yasser Ali Salem
6- Fawaz Yahia Hasan al-Rabee
7-Abu Bakr Yahia Hasan al-Rabee, 26
8-Hizam Saleh Ali, alias Mujali
9- Ibraheem Mohammed Abduljabar, alias Abu Zaid, 25
10-Mohammed Abdullah Ahamd al-Dailami, 26
11-Saleem Mohammed Ali al-Dailami, 25, teacher
12- Abdulghani Ali Hussein, alias Jaber al-Sanani, jobless
13-Kasem Yahia Mahdi, alias Abu Hurairah al-Sanani
14- Khaled Ahmad al-Jalob, alias Abu Muslim
15- Aref Saleh Ali Mujali