Watani Bank trial continues, investor defense organization forms [Archives:2006/953/Local News]

June 8 2006

SANA'A, June 6 ) The Specialized Penal Court decided on Monday to authorize the Prosecutor's office to collect outstanding loans for the Watani Bank for Trade and Investment and present any remaining evidence for the upcoming hearing.

At the hearing chaired by Judge Najeeb Al-Qadri, the prosecutor explained to the court that the prosecution has implemented the court's previous decision concerning the arrest of suspect 'number ten' who will not be tried.

The court accepted the demand of the Watani Bank Control Committee's lawyer to force released suspects to pledge to repay their debts and to use any property they own as collateral on the loans.

Meanwhile, the Organization to Defend Yemeni Investors (ODYI) will announce its formation in the near future. A member of the ODYI's Preparatory Committee, Nabeel Sa'eed Ghanem said that inequity between investors and constant land disputes are the key barriers to investment in Yemen.

Government agencies tend not to recognize individual land ownership, and therefore they can misconstrue the Investment Law according to their own whims, said Ghanem.

More than forty businessmen and investors held a meeting at the Chamber of Trade and Industry in Aden last Sunday in the presence of Mohamed Omar Bamashmous, who chairs the chamber. They discussed obstacles that investors face in Yemen.

The meeting reached a decision to form a preparatory committee comprised of Salem Ali Bin Othman, Nabeel Ghanem, Sa'eed Yaf'ee, Saleh Bin Ju'aim and the lawyer Salahaddin. The committee will be responsible for the preparation of the internal bylaws and objectives of the ODYI.

Ghanem expected the preparatory committee to complete preparations of the internal bylaws and objectives of the ODYI and to invite various guests for a meeting to announce the foundation the ODYI within three weeks.