Islamists Tribunal in Aden Continues [Archives:1999/26/Local News]

June 28 1999

The Zingubar court in the city of Abyan held its second session on Wednesday, June 23, with a heavy security presence. The court was headed by the judge Mehdi Salem Hunaish, and is to look into the appeals made by Abul-Hassan and his colleagues. Abul Hassan, Abu-Hurairah, and Abdulla Al-Gunaneidy were sentenced to death, and Ahmed Atef was sentenced to 20 years in prison. All have appealed their sentences.
In this week’s session, the court listened to the appeals raised by the defense, which were in turn answered by the prosecution. Then the court presented their appeal against the nine suspects who were acquitted. The lawyers will have an opportunity to listen to the defense in the session that will be held on July 4th.
Mr. Abul-Hassan Al-Mehdar repeated his call to the government to be given the right to establishing his party which is to be known as the “Aden-Abyan Islamic Army”. He also asked for the presence of the governor of Abyan and the head of the central security office to explain how the negotiations with the army took place before the government interfered and the foreigners were murdered. Abul-Hassan also demanded the cancellation of actions taken by the primary court that have sentenced him and two of his colleagues to death. He has asked that this problem be solved through tribal settlement, as has been done in many similar cases. He also called the government to maintain its fairness and treat them in the same way in which it has treated the members of Yemeni Socialist Party. He said, “We are ready for reconciliation with the government, if our organization will be presented in Yemen, because we have more than 4000 members of the Mujahedinein our party, whereas some of the existing parties do not even have 50 members.”Mr. Abul-Hassan criticized the Socialist Party and said: “There are some parties that are supporting violence and criminal activities, such as the Socialist Party which started the civil war in 1994. The war killed 13,000 people, but in spite of all that, the party still exists.
There were no claims from the families of the British and Australian victims and the injured security people in the Abyan incident in1998.
He finally added that his party has existed for the last three years, but because they were not given the right to participate as a political party, they had to carry weapons and establish a military camp.
Radwan Al-Saqqaf,
Aden Bureau Chief