Final hearing in Omar’s assassination case [Archives:2004/775/Front Page]

September 23 2004

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
The Sana'a Appeal Court resumed the trial of the murderer of the socialist leader Jarallah Omar last Monday, after a 3-moth halt. The court decided to run the final hearing next Saturday.
Ali Ahmad Jarallah was convicted, and sentenced to the death penalty, in September 2003 for killing Jarallah Omar, the assistant general-secretary of the Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP). Another five members of his associates received sentences ranging between 3 to 10 years in jail, while another six of those accused were acquitted.
During the hearing the YSP advocates accused the prosecution of not working on the case in a serious manner and not completing the investigation into the case, or unraveling the real perpetrators behind the assassination. The lawyers for the defense insisted that some pages from the report documenting investigation carried out by intelligence agents were torn off by the prosecutor. The court judge, Mohammed al-Akwa, ordered the prosecution to show the missing pages, even adjourning the hearing for ten minutes to allow the prosecution to do that. However, the prosecutor said that parts of the file had been taken due to “legal reasons” which he did not disclose. For their part, the defendants denied any knowledge of seized materials shown by the prosecution, claiming to be seeing them for the first time.
The murderer, Ali Jarallah, confessed that he entered the hall where Islah was running its conference (and in which Omar was murdered), with two pistols but he said he did not know if they were the ones shown by the prosecution. He said he used only one pistol, and did not have chance to use the other in killing his other targeted politicians.
The judge gave the prosecution a chance to present the missing pages of the report next Saturday, when the defense lawyers will also present their final defense, before the case is adjourned until the session issuing the final verdict.
Repeatedly, the YSP demanded that investigations into the case should be re-opened and that all the names mentioned during the interrogation of the assassin, including Sheikh Abdulamajeed al-Zindani, rector of al-Eman University and head of the Islah's consultative council, should be interrogated.