Yemen lawyers doubt USS Cole case evidence

Aug. 18, 2004 at 8:14 AM

SANAA, Yemen, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Yemeni lawyers Wednesday questioned the evidence against Abdel Rahim al-Nashiri, the main suspect in the bombing of the USS Cole.

Heated debate marred a for al-Nashiri, who is being tried in absentia for the suicide attack that killed 17 U.S. servicemen in Aden in October 2000.

Lawyer Mohammed al-Azzani said he "doubted the authenticity of the evidence presented by the public prosecutor." He said al-Nashiri is being held by U.S. authorities and the trial is merely an effort to incriminate others.

The judge, however, rejected the argument, saying there's no proof al-Nishiri is being held by the United States.

Another defense lawyer, Abdel Aziz al-Samawi, said his client Jamal Badawi was in Sanaa before, during and after the bombing of USS Cole in Aden's port and he will prove that to the court.

The trial of the six accused in the USS Cole bombing kicked off in Sanaa in July. They are accused of carrying out terrorist attacks, forming an armed terrorist network, possessing illegal arms, forging official documents and threatening Yemen's economic interests by endangering its foreign relations.

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