Militant cleric returns to Yemen

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Yemen is set to receive a top cleric, Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad, charged with providing support to the Palestinian militant group Hamas and al-Qaida.

The Yemeni Embassy in Washington announced Moayad and his counterpart Mohammed Zayed would arrive in Yemen on Tuesday, the state-run Saba news agency reports.


Both men were freed from a "supermax" facility in Colorado following a decision by U.S. judicial authorities.

A U.S. court ruled Friday to release Moayad and Zayed following an agreement whereby both men confessed to some of the charges filed against them in exchange for a reduced sentence.

Both men were found guilty in 2005 on eight counts of conspiring to finance al-Qaida and Hamas.

Witnesses during the trial, however, were told of unrelated accounts of Hamas activity in Israel and information pertaining to al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan.

Moayad was handed a 75-year prison term and a $1.2 million fine, while Zayed was sentenced to 45 years in jail.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in October, however, overturned the conviction, saying the jury was "prejudiced by inflammatory testimony about unrelated terrorism links."


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