Monday, August 9, 1999 Published at 13:47 GMT 14:47 UK
World: Middle East
Britons convicted of Yemen bomb plot
Guilty of "grave" crimes - but will appeal
Eight Britons and two Algerians have been convicted of planning a terrorist bombing campaign in Yemen.
During the trial, the prosecution said the bomb plots were part of a campaign by militants to drive western influence out of Yemen and set up an Islamic state.
All the men were found guilty of forming an armed gang, and nine were convicted of planning to bomb the British consulate, an Anglican church and a Swiss-owned hotel in Yemen.
Torture claims rejected
He said the men had "associated to form an armed gang intending to carry out murderous acts of sabotage and terrorism".
The judge told a packed courthouse: "The court did not find any relationship between the defendants' claims of being tortured and their statements which were presented by the prosecution to the court."
Three due to be freed
Mohsin Ghalain, 18, and Malik Harhra, 26, were both jailed for seven years.
Shahid Butt, 33, and Sarmad Ahmed, 21, were sentenced to five years. Mohamed Kamel, 17, was sentenced to three years.
The two Algerians, Amer Rahman and Kamal Sageer, were each jailed for five years.
As the sentences were announced, the casually-dressed defendants, who had grown beards during their eight months in captivity, shouted "Allahu Akhbar" (God is great).
'Travesty of justice'
Defence lawyers immediately said they would appeal the verdict, and called the proceedings unfair, politically motivated and an abuse of human rights.
And supporters of the men said they were "shocked and shattered" by the verdict.
Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, leader of The Muslim Parliament in Britain, said the trial was a "travesty of justice," and said they would continue with their campaign.
"This is a victory of evil against justice," he said. "These boys are innocent".
Under Yemeni justice, the men have the right to appeal to the Court of Appeal and then on to the Supreme Court.
Links to militants
The prosecution claims that the London-based Muslim fundamentalist Abu Hamza sent the men to Yemen to carry out terrorist attacks. Hamza is the father of Kamel and step-father of Ghalain.
The prosecution also claims that the defendants had trained in a military camp run by Islamic militant Zein Al-Abidine al-Mihdar.
In May, he was sentenced to death for his part in the kidnapping - four days after the men were arrested - of 16 Western tourists.
Four of the tourists, three Britons and one Australian, were shot dead during a gun battle between the kidnappers and the Yemeni authorities.