Accused Al Jazeera reporter is back in custody
19 September 2005, GRANADA — An Al Jazeera reporter who is charged with belonging to terrorist Al Qaeda was re-arrested when he requested permission to leave the country to attend his mother's funeral in Syria.
19 September 2005
GRANADA — An Al Jazeera reporter who is charged with belonging to terrorist Al Qaeda was re-arrested when he requested permission to leave the country to attend his mother's funeral in Syria.
Following Madrid bombings last year, Taysir Alony, a Syrian resident of Spain, and Jamal Hussein were charged with belonging to a now-dismantled Spanish Al Qaeda cell.
Both were released for health reasons near the end of their trial, but were rearrested in Granada by order of Spain's National Court.
Alony and Hussein are being held at the prison in Albolote, in Granada province, until they are transported to Madrid to hear the verdict on their case, scheduled for 26 September.
The National Court rejected Alony's request for permission to leave the country to attend his mother's funeral because no evidence of her death was provided.
In addition, the court saw his unsupported request as a ploy to flee rather than face possible conviction, and ordered him jailed as a flight risk.
Alony's wife, Fatima Zahra, said she was close to obtaining the death certificate showing her husband's request was legitimate.
The Alony family will be sending her the document.
Alony's mother, to whom he was very close, died last week, Zahra said.
He has been trying to get the certificate forwarded since he learned she had died.
"We are expecting him to regain his freedom, because the trial showed that all charges were false. We proved it with more than enough documentation," Zahra said.
"The only charge now hanging over Alony is his interview with (Al Qaeda leader) Osama bin Laden," she noted.
In the weeks after the 9/11 attacks on the United States, Alony obtained a world exclusive interview with bin Laden.
On the tape, the journalist "seems to be interviewing his boss," prosecutors allege, something Alony strenuously denies.
Zahra said she was "worried" about Alony's safety following the experience of Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, alias Abu Dahdah, suspected head of Al Qaeda in Spain, who was attacked by fellow inmates at eastern Castellon prison in July.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news