Trial of 15 al-Qaeda Suspects ContinuesProsecution presents seized materials and advocates demand fair trial [Archives:2004/743/Front Page]

June 3 2004

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
The Sana'a Criminal Court for Terrorism and Kidnapping continued Tuesday its second hearing for the tribunal of 15 suspected terrorists, one of whom is still at large, charged with several terrorist operations and plots, mainly the blowing up of the French tanker 'Limburg'.
The prosecution brought seized explosives and weapons as evidence against the suspects but the lawyers of the suspects refused that and considered the step illegal.
The suspects chose in the hearing Mohammed Allawo and Abdulaziz al-Samawi as their lawyers; later other three advocates including Khalid al-Anisi joined the defence team.
Fawaz al-Rabee, who is believed the leader of the group suspected of being members of al-Qaeda, told Judge Ahmad Mohammed al-Jermuzi that the judiciary is not independent as the court judge ordered in the first hearing session that the suspects should be given access to the visits of their families, which was not achieved, and they were not able to appoint their advocates.
The prosecution charged the fifteen suspected terrorists in the first hearing, held last Saturday, with blowing up the French oil tanker in Mukalla in October 2002, carrying out several explosions in Sana'a, killing one soldier and plotting to blow up the US, UK, French, German and Cuban embassies in Sana'a as well as plotting the assassination of the US Ambassador to Yemen, Edmund Hull, in addition to several bombings in Sana'a.
The lawyers appealed to the court judge to postpone the discussion of the seized explosives and weapons before they are given chance to view the files of the investigations with the suspects aTrial of 15 al-Qaeda Suspects Continues
Prosecution presents seized materials and advocates demand fair trial

nd defend them against the charges made by the prosecution. They also asked to the judge to prevent the filming reporting of the hearings. They confirmed that they would quit defending the suspects if they feel they are mere puppets to decorate the tribunal and show a facade of fairness only.
Allawo and al-Samwai attacked the prosecution, accusing it of violating the law as they interrogated the suspects without enabling them to have advocates. However, the prosecutor Saeed al-Akil said he offered lawyers and that the suspects said they did not need them and would defend themselves, which the suspects denied. “The Americans interrogators who attended the investigations asked the Yemeni interrogators whether the suspects have advocates and that they must be informed it is their right to have lawyers, which they Yemeni side neglected,” Allawo said. He threatened that he would expose terrifying things about the suspects and how they were dealt with, as mentioned in the report of the fact-finding committee set up by Parliament.
The seized explosives and weapons that were brought into the court room included 10 boxes stuffed with T.N.T, four RPG rockets, and other amounts of explosives.
The advocates were able to convince the court judge to postpone the discussion of the seized materials as evidence against the al-Qeada suspects. “We hope that the judge would stop his decision to discuss the seized materials so as to avoid our demand that the suspects are tried before an American court according to the US law,” Allawo said. The judge court agreed to the demand and decided to give the advocates a chance to study the files of investigations with the suspects until the next hearing next Monday. The lawyers stated that the chains round the hands of the suspects should be taken away and that they should be able to meet them without the monitoring of the security men; they also demanded that the suspects should be taken from the Intelligence Prison to the Central Prison, allowing their families to visit them.
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The suspects looked very happy; were smiling and laughing all the times as they were able before the start of the hearing to talk to their relatives for the first time after almost two years in jail.
During the hearing the family of the killed soldier, Hamid Khasroof, demanded that the suspected killers Fawaz al-Rabee and Hizam Mujali should sentenced to death for killing their son. Other lawsuits were presented by the company owning Limburg; Hunt Oil Company, whose plane was shot; Ali Mansur Rasheed, Deputy Director of Intelligence; Mohammed Rizq al-Surmi, former Deputy Director of Intelligence; and Mohammed al-Hamdani, an intelligence officer whose houses were targeted by the suspected group. Another lawsuit was also presented by the General Authority for Aviation, whose building was blown up.
In the first hearing, some of the suspects denied the charges but some admitted them, mainly the plot to kill the US ambassador. Saleem al-Dailami said that they wanted to restore the dignity of the government by killing Edmund Hull and take revenge for Abu Ali al-Harithi, who was killed by an American drone in the desert of Marib in November 2002. “We have gathered around as friends and plotted to kill the US Ambassador, we talked about that,” he said.
The prosecutor said in the first hearing that some of the suspects admitted that al-Harithi authorized Fawaz and Abu Bakr al-Rabee to attack the Hunt plane, providing them with the necessary funds for that. Fawzi al-Hababi admitted that he met Abdulraheem al-Nasheri, alias al-Mullah Bilal, who was arrested in the UAE and turned over to the US, and asked him to procure a forged passport. Al-Hababi admitted going to meet Al-Nasheri in the UAE, where he gave him $50,000 to give it to Walid al-Shaibah to plot the Limburg attack, which was carried out by Abu al-Harith al-Badwi and Naser Awadh.

The trial session was attended by some representatives of the FBI office in Sana'a and the US Department of Justice. This time, journalists were allowed to take their cameras into the courtroom after intensive inspection, but they were asked to not to film the suspects.
The trial was conducted amidst intense security measures.

List of the suspected terrorists names 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