Crime & Justice

Yemen court issues arrest warrant for Houthi chief

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden

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A speech by Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi is screened as Yemenis take part in a rally on the eve of the anniversary of the birth of Islam's Prophet Mohammed, at a football stadium in Sanaa, on December 23rd, 2015. [Mohammed Huwais/AFP]

Marib Military Court has issued arrest warrants for Houthi chief Abdul Malik al-Houthi and 174 other Ansarallah leaders inside and outside Yemen, and has called on all security authorities and Interpol to implement them.

In a Tuesday (September 22nd) session held under the chairmanship of military court chief Aqeel Taj al-Din, the court also ordered a provisional seizure of the defendants' assets and moneys.

The decision was announced in the presence of military prosecutor Abdullah al-Hadheri, defence lawyers and plaintiffs and their lawyers.

The court began the trial of al-Houthi and 174 other members of the militia on July 7th, on charges that include staging a coup against the government and forming an armed terrorist organisation (Ansarallah).

This was done with help from military experts from Lebanon's Hizbullah and Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the court charged, accusing the defendants of communicating with Iran with the intent of harming Yemen's military, political, diplomatic and economic status.

"The arrest measures via Interpol can be implemented through the Interior Ministry's efforts and the Foreign Ministry's support in pursuing the wanted defendants in the countries where they are staying or to which they travel," lawyer and rights activist Abdul Rahman Barman told Al-Mashareq.

As for the provisional seizure of assets, Barman said "it can be partially implemented against the defendants if they have properties in the liberated provinces which are controlled by the legitimate government".

"But items withheld under such a provisional seizure can be dealt with only as per the criminal penal code," he noted.

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