Photo: AFP

Yemen upholds death sentence in Israel spy case

Sanaa court denies appeal by man convicted of trying to work for Israeli intelligence services in 2008

A Yemeni appeal court upheld on Saturday a death sentence passed against a Yemeni man convicted of trying to work for Israeli intelligence services.


A Reuters witness said the court also upheld jail sentences of five and three years handed down for the same offence to two other Yemenis in March 2009.


The three had been convicted of emailing the Israeli prime minister's office and offering to work for the intelligence service of the Jewish state, which Yemen and many other Arab states regard as an enemy for occupying Arab land.


The three men had denied the charges, which they said were fabricated by an officer with whom they had a dispute.


The three, arrested in 2008, were also convicted of demanding money from the embassies of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


They were also accused of claiming the 2008 attack on the US embassy that killed 19 people. The twin suicide car bombings outside the US embassy, later claimed by al-Qaeda in Yemen, were the biggest militant operation in the poor Arab state since the attacks on the French tanker Limburg in 2002 and the US warship Cole in 2000.


Al-Qaeda's Yemen-based regional wing has since claimed responsibility for the failed bombing of a US-bound passenger plane on a flight from Amsterdam in December.


Western powers and neighboring Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, fear that instability in Yemen, where the government faces Shiite rebels in the north and separatist unrest, may allow al-Qaeda to strengthen its operations.


פרסום ראשון: 04.03.10, 15:30
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