Final hearings in Limburg tribunal [Archives:2004/765/Front Page]

August 19 2004

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
The Sana'a Criminal Court decided on Monday to run the final hearings in the tribunal of 15 al-Qaeda suspects next Saturday, while the 14 suspects (one still at large) condemned the decision.
The prosecution in the first hearing held on May 29th accused the suspected terrorists of blowing up the French Oil Tanker in Mukalla in October 2002; of carrying out several terrorist attacks in Sana'a; of killing one soldier and of plotting to blow up five embassies in Sana'a, as well as plotting to kill the former US ambassador to Yemen Edmund Hull.
During the 14th hearing in the case, the advocates, prosecutors and defendants tongue-lashed one another. Advocate Fuad al-Duba'ee was angered when the deputy attorney for the prosecution, Ali Al-Samet, described the defense as a symbolic of the degradation of the legal profession and lawyers in Yemen. Al-Duba'ee, defending the two brothers Aref and Hizam Mujali, demanded that al-Samet should apologize for this affront. However, court judge Ahmad al-Jermozi said it was enough that the word “degradation” should be omitted from the reply of the prosecution.
On their part, defendants were annoyed when the prosecutor quoted verses from the holy Quran, implicitly describing them as “abusive”. The defendants lashed out at him with foul language that made the prosecutor himself lose control, saying he would be ruder than them, if they continued to insult him.
The defendants who have showed indifference to the court hearings, challenged the prosecutors to conduct dialogue with them – inviting the prosecution to convince them of their views, or be willing to be convinced of the inaccuracy of their ideas. The defendants considered the court's decision to hold the final hearing next Saturday as a sign that the verdicts have been predetermined and are already in the “judge's pocket”.
In his defense, al-Duba'ee, who was present with only one other defense lawyer, demanded that his client Aref Mujali be sent to hospital for treatment to an injured leg, and that he should be given copies of the witnesses' testimonies.
Defense attorneys have quit the tribunal three times in protest at not being provided with a copy the documents for the case, merely being allowed to look at the file.
The defendants have been indifferent to the court procedures, and during proceedings, have chanted anti-US slogans and hailed Osama Bin Laden, as their leader.
In the first hearing of the case, some of the suspects denied some of the charges but some admitted them, mainly the plot to kill the former US ambassador to Yemen. Saleem al-Dailami said that they wanted to restore the dignity of the government by killing ambassador Edmund Hull, and taking revenge for Abu Ali al-Harithi who was killed by an American drone in the desert of Marib, in November 2002. “We gathered around as friends and plotted to kill the US ambassador, we talked about that,” he said.
Names of the Suspects 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 (still at large)
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