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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Yemen denies having spy in US, asks for evidence

NewsYemen: The issue of head of Yemeni Community in the US city Bakersfield, south of San Francisco, who US authorities charged of acting as a spy for Yemeni government and shipping US military confidential documents to Yemen, has arisen.

Yemeni official source denied in a statement to NewsYemen that Yemen was involved in a spy act against United States, but said that contacts are going on with Yemeni embassy in Washington and consulate in News York to know the issue details.

US Prosecutor in California said Ameen Ali al-Rohani, US businessman of Yemeni origin, was charged previously with buying and transporting military secrets and documents to Yemen, but that the new charges state he was doing so on behalf of the Yemeni government.

He said the new charges would raise the prison term from 30 years to 45.

The lawyer of al-Rohani, David Toris, said in a statement published by Bakersfield newspaper, that the new charges “are untrue”. He said charges were claimed to hamper releasing his client from prison.

The US Prosecutor said al-Rohani has established a branch of Yemeni organization in Bakersfield called “The National Society for Yemeni Immigrants”, which he believes is run by Yemeni government.

The Prosecutor said al-Rohani received a request from the Yemeni government in 1987 to work as its agent in US.
But a relative of Ammen called Hifzallah al-Rohani denied the claims of US Prosecutor and said that he wrongly diagnosed Ali and the society activity. “We know this man as a family sponsor, he has nothing that might harm Yemen’s government,” said Hifzallah.

The National Society for Yemeni Immigrants is not run by Yemen but it helps Yemeni immigrants who have problems with the Yemeni government, he added.

Foreign minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, said last October, after US authorities arrested al-Rohani, that al-Rohani has the US nationality and that US authorities deal with him as a US citizen.

But the lawyer Khalid al-Ansi urged the Yemeni government to make sure that measures taken against al-Rohani were legal because al-Rohani has also the Yemeni nationality.

Yemeni government has to follow up the lawsuit of head of Yemeni Community in Bakersfield and make sure about US charges against al-Rohani and that there is no race discrimination because he is an Arab and Muslim, said al-Rohani who follows cases of Yemeni detainees in US prisons.

He said that tens of thousands of Yemenis who have other nationalities, but that does not prevent the Yemeni government to follow their cases and solve their problems. US embassy in Sana’a always attend the trials of Yemenis who have US nationality”, said al-Ansi.

Every state has the right to protect their interests and punishing outlaws, but there are many Arab and Muslims in US who faced aggressive procedures after September 11 attacks, said al-Ansi.
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