Final hearings on Christmas DayLimburg trial continues [Archives:2004/800/Local News]
The Sana'a Counter-Terrorism Appeal Court decided Saturday to run the final hearings in the appeal trial of 15 al-Qaeda suspects charged with terrorism operations next Saturday, Dec. 25th.
During the hearing that continued only half an hour the prosecution demanded the death penalty against some of the suspects. The prosecutor said that the law does not differentiate between those people who forge official documents to hide from security or for any other reasons.
He also said that that the confession of the suspects that their plan to assassinate the US ambassador was just a mere talk that did not materialize does not exempt them from punishment as long as they agreed to carry out a criminal act.
The prosecution also refuted the appeals made by eight of the defendants during the last six hearings and described them as baseless. “It is not true that they made confessions under force and threat; they were completely free when giving such confessions. The primary court verdict was not based only on such confessions but on other evidences, testimonies of the witnesses, experts' reports and others,” chief prosecutor Saeed al-Akil said.
When court judge Saeed al-Katta'a asked other defendants who refused to make appeals to the primary court verdict, they asked for a chance till next hearing.
They total five including alleged ring leader Fawaz al-Rabee.
The defendants appeared indifferent to what is going on as they were laughing all the time. Some of them even expressed strong support for al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
Before the end of the session, the director of the legal department at the US embassy in Sana'a presented a request to the court supporting the lawsuit made against the defendants and in the name of the Hunt Oil Company whose helicopter was shot by some of the tried suspects.
Defendants in this case of the French Tanker Limburg attack and other terrorist operations previously denied their involvement in these operations. They said the confessions they made were taken by force and that they were subject to beating and torture.
They disclosed that they reached an agreement with cleric Hamoud al-Hittar, head of the dialogue committee with extremists, to give up their fanatic views and take the path of tolerance. “Please help us; we do not have any devastating ideas,” Ibraheem Huawaidi told the judge while reading his appeal.
He refuted all allegations made by the prosecution against him. “I do refute and deny all allegations about my involvement in an armed gang or attacking Western embassies or attempting assignation of the US embassy,” he alleged.
On his part, Kasem al-Raimi requested the court to order the prosecution bring evidence of its charges against him. Other five defendants refused to comment on the appeal of the prosecution without having advocacy.
The court sentenced on August 28th one to death while 14 others received prison terms of three to 10 years, being found guilty of forming an armed group and carrying out attacks on Yemeni and Western targets.
Hizam Mujali was sentenced to death for killing a security man named Hamid Khasroof at a security checkpoint.
Omar Saeed Hasan Jarallah, Fawzi al-Wajeeh, Mohammed Saeed Ali al-Amari, Fawzi Yahia al-Hababi, and Yasser Ali Salem (tried in absentia) received ten years in jail for bombing the French Tanker Limburg. The two brothers Fawaz al-Rabee and Abu Bakr al-Rabee were sentenced to 10 years in jail.
The other five militants (Ibraheem Mohammed al-Huwaidi, Aref Saleh Ali Mujali, Mohammed Abdullah al-Dailami, Abdulghani Ali Hussein Kaifan, and Kasem Yahia al-Raimee) were sentenced to five years in prison. The two defendants- Khaled Ahmad al-Jalob, and Saleem Mohammed Ali al-Dailami, were sentenced to three years in prison for falsifying documents relating to the various attacks.