'Terrorists' lose appeal in Yemen

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The Independent Online
THE EIGHT British Muslims found guilty of an alleged bombing plot in Yemen had their appeal rejected yesterday.

Five of the men, including the 17-year-old son of radical London cleric Abu Hamza, are now in Yemeni prisons serving between three and seven years for their alleged involvement in an Islamic fundamentalist plot to bomb British targets in Aden.

The other three were sentenced to time already served awaiting trial, though two of those, Shaz Nabi, 20, and Ayad Hussein, 24, from Birmingham, have remained in custody. Yesterday, the judge ordered the release of the two men; the third, Ghulam Hussein, 25, from Luton, has been on bail because of ill health.

The rejection of the appeal was immediately challenged by defence lawyer Rashad Yaqoob, of the human rights organisation, the Legal Studies Institute. Mr Yaqoob said the defendants had appealed to the Supreme Court on the grounds that their action was taken in time.

"From a legal point of view it is outrageous, and from a human rights point of view it is disappointing," he said. "We understand they are saying that the appeal was out of time because it was not within 15 days of the judgment. That is a completely absurd proposal, because in all Yemeni courts the appeal time runs from the point of receiving the judgment. The court didn't give them a copy of the judgment until after the 15-day period had elapsed, and the application was made within 15 days of the copy being received."

A Foreign Office spokesman said the judge had rejected a prosecution appeal for the same reason, adding that both sides had 40 days to appeal to the Supreme Court and intended to do so.