Families of the 8 Accused Britons in the Aden Trial demand: “Send them to Britain!” [Archives:1999/33/Front Page]

August 16 1999

ADEN: The long-awaited verdict in the case of the 8 British and 2 Algerian fundamentalists is out. The Aden Appeal Court’s judge Jamal Mohammad Omar passed on the sentences, which ranged from seven months to seven years imprisonment. The defendants are convicted for attempting to manage extremist operations of bombing and causing turmoil in Yemen. The court reached its decision after evaluating the evidence provided by the prosecutor which showed that “the 10 men attempted to form an armed gang intending to carry out murderous acts of sabotage and terrorism” as the judge stated. 
The families of the British defendants were disappointed at the verdict and claimed it was politically motivated and unfair. The mother of Abu Hamza, who had a sentence of three years in jail, cried while leaving the court room and called the verdict a “massacre”. On the other hand, the general prosecutor, Saeed Al-Aqil showed his dissatisfaction with the sentence by calling it “too light”. The prosecutors raised an appeal in an attempt to bring the imprisonment term to maximum 10 years. 
British Prime Minister Tony Blair send a letter to President Ali Abdullah Saleh regarding his concerns about the torture allegations. However, the president seemed to not have responded positively. 
Meanwhile, in a press release issued yesterday, the British Embassy in Sanaa issued a statement confirming that the British Government will not in any way interfere in the judicial process of other countries, and that PM Blair has not asked President Saleh to intervene in the judicial process in order to lighten the sentences passed. He described the earlier reports as “simply wrong.” 
As for the Briton defendants, they got the following sentences: Malik Nassar Harhra seven years; Mohsin Ghailan seven years; Sarmad Ahmed five years; Shahid Butt five years; Mohammad Mustafa Kamel three years; Ayad Hussein time-served; Shaz Nabi time-served and Gholam Hussein time-served. The other two Algerians, Kamal Ali Mohammed and Amer Abdulrahman (James) who held fake French passports however, were both sentenced to 5 years in jail.  More Details on