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Yemen prosecutors seek death penalty in al Qaeda terror trial

[JURIST] Prosecutors in Yemen [JURIST news archive] are seeking the death penalty against Mohammed Hamdi al-Ahdal [BBC report], the alleged number two in the Yemen sect of al-Qaeda, who is being tried for plotting terrorist attacks [JURIST report] as part of an armed group. Ahdal is on trial with four other alleged members of the group and was previously charged with receiving $50,000 from Osama bin Laden. Prosecutors called for the death penalty during the trial's final hearing Monday, saying Ahdal had contact with al-Qaeda leaders in neighboring countries to plan his bomb attacks and also raised money for the terrorist network.

Ahdal claims he is innocent and that his trial is being politically motivated by Saudi Arabian officials and US President George Bush. He is also accused of being involved in attacks on a French oil tanker and a helicopter owned by a US oil-firm in 2002, and was allegedly involved in the deaths of 19 security officials while he tried to evade being captured in 2000-2003. AFP has more.

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