President Saleh leaves for Germany on a visit to discuss al-Mouyed’s case plus other issues:Hopes for breakthrough in al-Mouyed’s case [Archives:2003/644/Front Page]

June 23 2003

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
Sanaa, June 21- Members of opposition parties including Islah have expressed their hope and optimism that President Saleh's visit to Germany will yield results in the release of Sheikh Mohammed al-Mouyed, who remains detained in Germany since January 8th 2003.
They believe that efforts exerted by the President in this regard will help have al-Mouyed return home safely.
President Saleh's stance has been clear in support of al-Mouyed. “An indication of his keenness to have al-Mouyed released was resembled in his decision to send two former ministers to Germany to join the advocates in defense of al-Mouyed, who is also a prominent member of Islah's central committee.” a prominent Islah figure told Yemen Times.
The advisors, Ismael Ahmad Al Wazeer and Abdullah Ahmad Ghanim, members of the Presidential Advisory Council, will press for acquittal of al-Mouyed and Zaid. Both advisors will join an already strong defense panel that comprises German and Yemeni lawyers for defending the two clergymen.
This comes in harmony with President Saleh's earlier decision to allocate $60,000 in defense fees for al-Mouyed's case.
On the other hand, Germany agreed last month to extradite Al Muayed and his aide to the US after it received assurances that they would be tried at a civil court and will not be sentenced to death. Yemen repeatedly demanded the extradition of the two men saying it will put them on trial at a Yemeni court if the U.S. authorities have enough evidence against them.
However, official sources avoided mentioning that discussions of case of al-Mouyed may be part of the visit to the Germany agenda.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh had left Sanaa on Friday in a visit to Germany and France in one of the most important visits for Yemen's head of state for some time.
Official sources said that Saleh will hold talks with the leaders of Germany and France on bilateral relations as well as cooperation in the fight on terrorism.
Even though the major focus of discussions is expected to be terrorism, other important issues are expected to be discussed during the trip, including discussions on the Road Map and the current situation in Iraq.
Yemeni Foreign Minster, Dr. Abu Baker al-Qirbi said that Saleh's talks with his counterparts will deal with the situation in the region, mainly in Iraq and the Road Map. “President Saleh will also discuss with the German and French leaders the economic cooperation and the reform package Yemen is carrying out since 1995.” al-Qirbi said.
Meanwhile, opposition sources confirmed that Saleh will indeed discuss in Germany the continued detention of Sheikh Mohammed al-Mouyed and his companion Mohammed Zaid at a request made by the US. The US accuses al-Mouyed of being one of Osama bin Laden's financiers, and of raising money for Hamas and other militant Islamic organizations.