Yemen appeals Al-Mouyed’s extradition [Archives:2003/653/Front Page]

July 24 2003

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
The Supreme Court of Frankfort decided Monday that the German government can hand over Sheikh Mohammed al-Mouyed and his companion Mohammed Zaid -suspected of having links with al-Qaeda- to the USA to be tried there after providing evidence of the charges against him, while the Yemeni government said it would appeal the extradition's verdict.
The ruling triggered the anger of the Yemeni Islah party that denounced the ruling concerning the extradition of al-Mouyed, member of the central committee of the party, and his companion, who were both detained in Germany in January.
Mr. Hamoud Hashim al-Tharihi, a leading member of Islah said that the ruling was surprising mainly after the visit of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's to Germany and his confirmation on the innocence of al-Mouyed.
Al-Tharihi, chief of the committee following up the case of al-Mouyed, pointed out that the committee contacted the Yemeni ambassador to Germany and al-Mouyed's lawyer and said that they would appeal the verdict, which could potentially lead to a long tedious trial for the old sheikh, whose health has deteriorated tremendously since January according to his relatives.
He even said that a team of MPs and Consultative Council members would soon leave for Germany to continue their efforts to convince the German government to return the detainees to Yemen, taking into consideration the strong Yemeni-German relationship.
In a press statement, the Yemeni embassy in Germany stressed that efforts made with the judiciary system and government in Germany to release the two persons would continue.
It pointed out that the two men were trapped to Germany in an illegal way that infringes the sovereignty of Yemen. The statement reiterated the important efforts exerted by the Yemeni government to fight against terrorism and that it would try any citizen proven guilty with any terrorist acts. The statement stressed that the strong and friendly relationship between Yemen and Germany should remain at their prime time and that the two countries would continue their cooperation.
Some foreign diplomats have expressed their concern over any possible reaction on the part of some extremists or tribesmen.
However, a reliable source at the Islah party told the Yemen Times that the party will continue its efforts to prove the innocence of al-Mouyed.
He said that there should be no fear and that the Islah with the Yemeni government's efforts to get the detainees back home, will never give up.
He pointed out that the German court's ruling does not indict the detainees and it is the US court that would decide whether they are guilty or not and that lawyers would be authorized to defend him before US courts.