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In the dock: Huthi cell members await their sentences in Sana’a. The men chanted anti-government and anti-American slogans in the courtroom.
The court also issued prison sentences against suspect Ali Ibrahim al-Kuhlani who received five years imprisonment, Muna Ali Zaid who was sentenced to four years imprisonment, Ahmed Mohammed al-Murhibi was sentenced to three years imprisonment and abdul-Kadir Yahiya Sharafadin was sentenced to one year imprisonment. Sa'dah Saleh Faqira was acquitted, whereas the court dropped the charges against Hashim Abdullah Ja'far because he is dead.
Following the ruling the prosecution appealed the judgment against abdul-Kadir Yahiya Sharafadin, Ahmed Mohammed al-Murhibi and Sa'dah Saleh Faqira. Al-Khaiwani submitted an appeal, as did relatives for blood money.
The prosecution has accused 14 of the cell members of participating in an armed criminal group, and for planning for murder and endangering public security. They were also accused of preparing weapons, explosives, poisonous materials, communication equipment, money and recorded materials against the state, containing the propaganda of the terrorist elements of the Sa'adah rebels.
The charges stated that the suspects distributed operational roles amongst themselves, targeting military and security barracks, poisoning the drinking water tanks and targeting military vehicles by detonating remote controlled explosives using cell phones. They were also charged with using publications, records and spreading fake statements for lowering public and armed forces morale.
The prosecution also accused them of resisting the security men assigned to watch them, leading to the death of brigadiers Yahiya Mohammed Qaid Rawi' and Abdul-Ghani Hussein al-Omari.
The specialized penal court resumed trial of the Sana'a second cell, after it was returned to it by the supreme constitutional circuit, which rejected the appeal filed by the tenth suspect's defense, regarding the unconstitutionality of the penal court formation.
The judgment was appealed by the prosecution and the deceased's relatives because they think that it is lenient.
The blood money relatives' lawyer, Wajih al-Wajih, said that the judgment was appropriate for some of the suspects with the exception of Sa'dah Saleh who was acquitted, since she is the main suspect who is accused of facilitating the officers' murder. She opened the door for brigadiers al-Ma'mari and Rawih, luring them to their death when they were shot dead inside the house, however the prosecution accused her only of hiding away the first suspect. The lawyer continued to say that the accusation was not altered in spite of their alteration of the accusation, adding that some suspects should have received capital judgments citing article 133 of the procedural law.
Abdul-Bari Taher, the former journalists syndicate's head, said that when the judiciary is politicized, one does not expect anything. Justice is expected from an independent, skilled judiciary, but when the executive power manipulates judiciary, it directs it as one of its administrations. One will not wonder if any journalist is charged, as journalistic tools – pens, cassettes and books become evidences against them.
Journalist Saeed Thabit hopes that the appeal court will set it right. Murwan Murwan Damaj, the general secretary of the journalists' syndicate, said that the sentence was not expected, because there were no charges, however he considered al-Khiwani's condemnation a message against journalism freedom, linked to Sada war coverage, because al-Khaiwani was assuming his journalistic career and did not commit any crime. Al-Khaiwani was a practicing journalist when he was recently acquitted in the first Sana’a cell case.
Lawyer Mohammed al-Madani member of the al-Khaiwani defense body, said that the sentence against al-Khaiwani is disappointing and contradictory to the constitution and laws. He continued asking, "Why should a journalist be imprisoned without charges, through despotic procedures, searching and imprisonment. He said that the six year sentence is unprecedented in all laws and custom. Al-Madani said that the sentence execution directly following the delivery, without mentioning it at the judgment is contradicting article 475 of the penal procedures.
Al-Khaiwani was released by a previous appeal resolution, revealing that this procedure is an arbitrary one and reveals that the Yemeni judiciary is not independent, despite their allegations.