Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Yemeni journalist sentenced to five years for terror links

By Nasser Arrabyee/18/01/2011

A Yemeni journalist was sentenced on Tuesday to five years in prisons for links with the Yemen-based Al Qaeda.

The journalist Abdul Elah Haidar Shaea, was sentenced to five years and his colleague Abdul Kareem Al Shami was sentenced to two years in prison.

The two men were convicted of forming an armed gang to work with the Yemen-based Al Qaeda branch, Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). After having served their terms, the two men will be underpolice monitoring and will be allowed to travel outside Sana'a for two years.

The journalist Shaea refused to appeal as he refused before to recognize the court and refused to allow any lawyers to defend him.

“I’m not before a court now to appeal, I’m only in front of a gang who kidnapped me,” Shaea told the Judge, Redhwan Al Namer, after he read the verdict in the State Security Court in Sana’a.

Earlier the prosecutor accused Shaea using the journalism as a cover to form an armed gang for implementing terrorist acts in Yemen.

He was also accused recruiting people from outside Yemen to work with Al Qaeda and providing them with information about the security places and urging them to implement operations.

During all the trials sessions, Shaea refused to say anything to the judge except demand .

“ I want judge first to order the arrest of those who kidnapped me and disappeared me for 35 days,” Shaea would always say whenever the judge asks him to comment.

The journalist Shaea appeared in good health with high morale as he was waving with his hands to tens of journalists and friends, relatives, who attended the session of pronouncing the verdict on him on Tuesday January 18th, 2011.

While smiling to photographers and joking with friends from behind the bars, Shaea was not wearing the prison's clothes, he was, instead, wearing his usual smart clothes with his hair beautifully combed.

Shaea tried to look confident and unworried unlike his friend Abdul Kareem Al Shami, who was accused mainly of helping Shaea in sending and coding decoding emails.

In the first hearing last October, the prosecutor said, that Abdul Elah Haidar Shaea, 34, and Abdul Kareem Dawod Al Shami 28, during the period from 2008 until 16th, August 2010, formed an illegal armed gang and worked for the interest of Al Qaeda.

The first accused, Shaea, recruited a number of mercenaries from outside Yemen and helped them to join Al Qaeda.

The prosecutor also said, that Shaea collected information about the security headquarters and foreign embassies, and provided these information to Al Qaeda with the aim of targeting them.

Shaea also, prosecutor said, published untrue news stories and statements in the media with the aim of promoting Al Qaeda and achieving their goals and damaging security and stability of the nation and its public interests.

The prosecutor said, that Shaea was working as a media advisor for Yemeni-American extremist cleric Anwar Al Awlaki, and that he had meetings with the leaders of Al Qaeda , Nasser AlWahaishy, Saeed Al Shihri, Qasem Al Raimi, and he urged them to strike strategic goals and Yemeni and foreign interests.

The journalist Shaea was arrested on August 16th, 2010 from his house in the Yemeni capital Sana’a by the Yemeni intelligence.

Without any kind of access to family or lawyers, he was kept in the intelligence prisons until he was referred to the prosecution on September 22nd, 2010 when the court agreed a request from the prosecution for keeping him in prison 30 days more for completing investigations.

The journalist Shaea became famous after he made an exclusive interview with the top leader of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Nasser Al Wahaishy, Abu Baseer, on January 2009.

And on November of the same year, he made an interview with the Yemeni-American extremist cleric, Anwar Al Awlaki, who is now wanted for the CIA dead or alive.

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