In the presence of US Department of Justice delegation SPC adjourns case of 8 suspects until July 11 [Archives:2005/851/Front Page]

June 16 2005

Yasser Mohammed Al-Mayyasi
SANA'A, June 13- The Specialist Penal Court (SPC) decided on Monday to adjourn the case of the suspects accused of forming an armed gang to hit western interests and assassinate officials until July 11 to issue the final verdict.

The court's session devoted to the final appeals was for the first time attended by a delegation from the U.S. Department of Justice. The appeals uncovered documents and other seized articles considered to be enough evidences for confirming the conviction of suspects.

The prosecution investigation found out that suspect Salah Abdu Ma'udha is the person who transferred 10,000 Saudi riyals from Najran to the top suspect Anwar al-Jailani.

The prosecution representative told the court that the transferred money adds to the list of evidences to confirm charges against the suspects.

Top defendant Anwar al-Jailani made a confession that the sum of money was already transferred but he does not know the person who was investigated by the prosecution. The top defendant emphasized he was given the sum via a friend named Umair al-Jailani.

In the appeals, the prosecution representative stated the first seven suspects were involved in the formation of an armed band to shake security and stability of the nation.

The 8-member band has plotted to attack the British and the Italian embassies as well the French Cultural Center. They took a house on lease, hired cars, bought military uniforms, drew maps of their targets, prepared explosives and distributed roles among them to carry out offences.

During the session, Mohammad al-Ezani, defense-advocate of suspects from No.2 to 6 claimed the conviction of his clients is wrong and the charges were based on the minutes of interrogating the suspects and receiving their answers by the political security without any order from the prosecution.

Al-Ezani said his clients have been imprisoned for a period of time exceeding the legal limits, and their houses were stormed and searched without any orders from the parties concerned.

The defense-advocate denied the seized articles including the computer were used by the defendants to implement their plots. He claimed the court to refuse the indictment and acquit his clients.

Hamoud al-Manifi, lawyer of suspects No.7 and 8 has not presented his final appeals and demanded the court to invalidate the indictment attributed to his clients.

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He denied that defendant No. 7 Salah Mohammad Othman was involved in the formation of an armed band to carry out terrorist acts and demanded the court to acquit the suspect and return his personal belongings.

Abdulaziz al-Samawi lawyer of the top suspect Anwar al-Jailani did not attend the session, and the court allowed all the suspects to present their final appeals and talk to the judge.

Anwar al-Jailani indicated that he has a friendly relation with Salah Othman and that he was not given two cheques as claimed by the prosecution.

Second suspect Khalid al-Batati claimed the court to acquit him and the third suspect Abdurrahman Basurrah insisted that his computer and ancient gun be returned to him.

Suspect No.4 Mohammad Khaiti, a Syrian national, said the court has to return his furniture, which was taken by the manager of terror fighting unit at the criminal investigation bureau.

It is worth noting that 9 sessions have been held so far concerning the 8 suspects charged with the formation of an armed band to hit western interests in Yemen, as well as forging official documents carrying anonymous names to facilitate their tasks.

Through the nine sessions several shocking facts have been disclosed, including an organization named “al-Tawhid Battalions” believed to stand behind the terrorist operations.

The court sessions uncovered the 8 suspects have been plotting to assassinate government dignitaries, mainly Prime Minister Abdulqader Bajammal, defense and interior ministers, Chairman of the Intelligence Organization and some ruling party leaders.