SANAA, (Reuters) – A mosque preacher was sentenced to to death by a Yemeni court on Sunday and another was jailed for eight years for backing a rebel movement and spying.
The court said Yehia Hussein al-Daylami, sentenced to death, and Mohamed Meftah wanted to overthrow the Arab country”s republican system through supporting a rebellion launched last year by supporters of a Shi”ite cleric in the mountainous north. The judge evicted the defendants, who gave sermons in Sanaa mosques, before announcing the verdict because they were loudly reciting the Koran. Their lawyers said they would appeal.
It was unclear for which foreign country the men had been found guilty of spying, though prosecutors had mentioned Iran in the early stages of the trial, which lasted five months.
Yemen says the northern rebels want to instal clerical rule and preach violence against the United States and Israel. The group is not linked to al Qaeda.