YEMEN: SPYING FOR ISRAEL DEATH SENTENCE UPHELD
April 3, 2010: An appeals court in Yemen upheld the death sentence against Bassam al-Haidari who was found guilty of contacts with former Israeli premier Ehud Olmert on the Internet to plot against Yemen.
The court in Sanaa also confirmed a three-year jail term which a lower court slapped on an accomplice, Abdullah al-Mahfal, but it shortened a five-year sentence to three years for a third accused in the case, Imad al-Rimi.
The three men, whose trial opened on January 10 and who pleaded not guilty to charges of making "contact with an enemy state," said they would appeal to Yemen's highest court.
Israel has dismissed the whole case as "totally ridiculous."
Haidari was accused of having contacted Olmert in 2008, when he was prime minister, claiming to represent an Islamist militant group and offering to cooperate with Israel against the Yemeni state.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh disclosed the case in October 2008 when he said that a "terrorist cell" linked to Israel's intelligence services had been dismantled in Yemen. (Sources: Afp, 03/04/2010)