Yemen court jails anti-U.S. judge for 10 years [Archives:2004/778/Front Page]

October 4 2004

By Reuters
and Mohammed Binsallam
Yemen Times Staff

A Yemeni court on Saturday sentenced a judge who supported an anti-U.S. cleric to 10 years in jail for sedition, fanning sectarian discord and forming an armed gang, the official Saba news agency reported.
Judge Mohamed Ali Loqman of Manakha-Haraz Court, arrested in July, was found guilty of supporting anti-U.S. cleric Hussein al-Houthi ) killed by Yemeni forces last month ) by setting up a branch of his “Believing Youth” group.
In a letter to the Yemen Times on Saturday, attorney Ahmed al-Dailami mentioned that the case was essentially different and refuted through the evidence he had presented on falsity of charges against the judge Loqman, adding that the reason was the domination of politics on the whole case. Attorney al-Dailami said proceedings of the trial had prioved non-independence of Yemeni judiciary and the clear of that was the forging of the case's papers and even the prosecution had forged those papers. Attorney al-Dailami also pledged to tell press and organisations concerned with human rights and freedoms and also local and world civil society organisations about the flagrant violations of the law in that case.He said the case and the verdict were nugatory. As for the objects presented as evidence to the court and on which it depended to substantiateclaims, the attoerney said they destroyed and the court did not say what they were, adding that were the verdict just it would have clarified publicly what were the object that the ppolitical security had put hand on at the house of the judhe Loqman in an illegal way. The attorney concluded by affirming that the verdict againstjudge Loqman was in general a dangerous example in the history of Yemeni judiciary as it depended on incoreect evidence.
More than 200 rebels and troops have been killed in clashes over the past two months between Yemeni forces and Houthi and his supporters.
Sanaa accuses Houthi of setting up unlicensed religious centres and forming an armed group which has staged protests against the United States and Israel.
His group is not linked to al Qaeda.
Anti-U.S. sentiment is high in Yemen and other countries in the Middle East over the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Yemen is also fighting to root out militants linked to Saudi-born Osama bin Laden's alQaeda network.