Yemen: Journalist given 5 years for al-Qaida links

January 18, 2011 15:52

SANAA, Yemen  — A Yemeni court official said two Yemenis, including a well-known journalist, were convicted of having links to al-Qaida and sentenced to up to five years in prison.

Sanaa State Security Court sentenced Abdel Elah al-Shaia, a journalist who interviewed the leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula in 2009, to five years in prison for his ties to the extremist group.

The interview was widely published in the Yemeni press and the state prosecutor used it as evidence against al-Shaia, accusing him of promoting al-Qaida ideology in Yemen.

The same court also sentenced Abdel Karim al-Shami, a technician, to two years in prison for helping al-Shaia.

Al-Shaia shouted "this is a political ruling," after the judge read the verdict, according to the official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

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