Berlin asked not to send cleric to US

14th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

14 November 2003, SANA'A - Yemen on Friday urged Germany not to extradite to the United States a Yemeni cleric arrested on alleged links with the al-Qaeda terror network.

14 November 2003

SANA'A - Yemen on Friday urged Germany not to extradite to the United States a Yemeni cleric arrested on alleged links with the al-Qaeda terror network.

The Yemeni appeal was made by Foreign Minister Abu-Bakr al-Qerbi after Thursday's decision by the German constitutional court approving the extradition of Sheikh Muhammad Ali al-Moayyad and his assistant Muhammad Muhssien Zaid.

"Yemen maintains its position rejecting the handover of Sheik al-Moayyad to the United States," al-Qerbi told Deutsche Presse- Agentur dpa.

"Yemeni authorities are conducting contacts with the German government to prevent the extradition," he added.

German criminal police arrested al-Moayyad, 54, and Zaid, 32, at a Frankfurt hotel on January 10 under a U.S. warrant alleging the men's involvement in financing Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization and the Palestinian Hamas movement.

Al-Qerbi deplored the arrests as "illegal" and "not compatible with the human rights and international law."

He said Yemen "might take the case to the European Court of Human Rights" if the German government decides to send al-Moayyad to the United States.

In its ruling, Germany's highest court refused appeals by al-Moayyad's lawyer over concerns that the defendant might face inhuman treatment in the United States.

A court spokesman said on Thursday the US authorities had assured that al-Moayyad and his companion would not be brought before a military tribunal or sent to the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

Washington considers al-Moayyad a member of al-Qaeda, an allegation denied by the Yemeni authorities that said the charges against him were unwarranted.

Yemeni officials say al-Moayyad was lured to Germany by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) through a Yemeni agent and a Muslim American who asked the Sheikh to come to Germany ostensibly to receive a donation for a charity he runs in Sana'a.

Al-Moayyad is known as a fund-raiser for the Palestinians, but his alleged links with the al-Qaeda are not widely known in Yemen.

DPA

Subject: German news

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