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Monday, August 9, 1999 Published at 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK


Yemen trial timeline

Eight British nationals have been convicted of terrrorist activities in Yemen. BBC News Online looks back on a stop-start trial that has been described by one leading lawyer as chaotic.

9 August Mohsin Ghailan, Mohammed Kamel, Ghulam Hussein, Malik Harhra, Shahdi Butt, Samad Ahmed, Shaz Nabi and Ayad Hussein are convicted of conspiracy to form an armed gang. Harhra, Kamel, Ghailan, and Ahmed are also convicted of planning to bomb a number of locations in Aden.
Britons convicted of Yemen bomb plot

25 July Lawyers acting for the eight Britons urge the UK Government to intervene in the case before the verdict is announced. A solicitor acting for the families says he believes the judge could make an unscheduled ruling in an attempt to reduce international scrutiny of the case.
Plea for UK intervention in Yemen trial

22 July The Yemen judge delays the verdict in the trial from 25 July to 9 August.
Yemen verdict delayed

I July The High Court in the UK turns down a request for the Foreign Secretary Robin Cook to intervene with the president of Yemen over the fate of the eight Britons on trial. The legal request was made by the family of Shahid Butt who say the trial was prejudiced by confessions extracted under torture.
Judge rejects Yemen request

22 June The court hold its final hearing in the trial and the judge announces he will pronounce the verdicts on 25 July. The prosecution calls for the judge to punish all 10 while the defence maintains there is no evidence to convict the men. The eight Britons say they are convinced that the Yemeni justice system has already found them guilty.
Verdict awaited in Yemen terror trial

6 June Ghulam Hussein is refused bail. The Anglican church steps in to offer Mr Hussein accommodation and guarantee he will turn up for hearings - but despite its earlier decision, the court rules that it cannot accept the guarantees.
Yemen suspect refused bail

9 May The court in the Yemen city of Aden decide to release one of the accused, 25-year-old Ghulam Hussein, on bail. Mr Hussein's supporters argue he needs medical treatment for inflammation of the liver and asthma.

6 May A three-man medical commission of one Dutch doctor and two Yemeni medical personnel tells a Yemeni court there is no evidence of torture on four of the eight British detainees charged with terrorism. The men and their two French-Algerian co-defendants had said their confessions were extracted under duress.
Yemen Britons 'were not tortured'

6 May Three Yemeni Islamic militants are sentenced to death for their part in the kidnap and murder of three Britons and one Australian in December 1998. The group is alleged to have links with the eight Britons and two French-Algerians still on trial.
Yemen kidnappers sentenced to death

27 April One of the accused, 33-year-old Shahid Butt, disowns a signed confession - in which he admitted receiving military training in the Yemen -saying it was extracted by force.
Briton disowns Yemen confession

7 April The trial is put on hold for a third time after disputes between the judge and the defence.
Yemen trial delayed for third time

5 April The UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, calls on the Yemeni Government to allow and independent doctor to examine the eight Britons.
Blair intervenes on Briton's behalf

24 March The entire defence team walk out on the trial over disputes concerning the defendants' legal rights.
Yemen lawyers walk out

22 March Signed statements by the defendants allegedly confessing involvement in terrorist activities are read out in court after the men's lawyers fail to have the confessions disallowed on the grounds they were allegedly extracted under duress.
Yemeni Britons' 'damning confessions'

19 March British Muslim cleric Abu Hamsa al-Masri is released on bail after police in London arrest him under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. His son, Mohammed Mustafa Kamel, is one of those on trial and the Yemeni authorities had demanded his extradition for trial on similar charges of terrorism.
Abu Hamza bailed after questioning

15 March Yemeni prosecutors say the ten accused have links with a group of fundamentalists on trial for murdering three British tourists.
Prosecutors make Yemen trials link

13 March The court is shown video footage of some of the defendants holding guns.
Video 'shows Britons holding guns'

11 March The ten men on trial fail to have the case against them overturned on the grounds that they were denied access to solicitors when they were arrested.
Yemen 10 appeal rejected

27 February The court is shown a global positioning system (GPS), satellite dishes and mobile phones allegedly used by the ten men as part of a well-organised bombing conspiracy.
Yemen trial sees 'dangerous equipment'

22 February Rashad Yaqoob, the Britons' lawyer, is arrested by Yemeni police. He is released the following day and taken to hospital. He later says he had been stamped on, slashed with keys and threatened with a loaded gun while under detention in the Criminal Investigation Department of the city of Aden.
Yemen Britons' lawyer claims police brutality

20 February During one of the shortest sittings in the stop-start trial, the prosecution argues the men threatened state security and rejects defence claims that confessions were tortured out of them. The defendants challenge statements by aYemeni doctor, Dr Fouad al-Qahiri, that they had not suffered abuse.
Doctor's report challenged

13 February Three Britons and a French Algerian arrested earlier in the month are put on trial alongside the five Britons and Algerian already in court accused of plotting terrorism and murder.
Three more Britons on trial in Yemen

1 February Cameras are banned from the courtroom and the men's families say relatives have been warned not to talk to reporters. A leading international lawyer describes the situation as "absolute chaos".
'Chaotic' Yemen trial delayed again

29 January Families of five Britons - Ghulam Hussein, Shahid Butt, Malik Nassar Harhra, Samad Ahmed, and Mohsin Ghalain all from the English Midlands - call on Foreign Secretary Robin Cook to try to secure the men's release. A delegation of relatives, supporters of the men, a Home Office pathologist and a senior barrister, leave for the Yemen in an attempt to win their freedom.
Yemen families ask Cook to do more

27 January Five Britons and an Algerian go on trial in Aden accused of planning a bombing campaign. The six protest their innocence and shout that they had been tortured.

9 January The families of the five Britons protest outside the Yemen embassy in London as British authorities in Aden try to gain full access to the men. Mr Cook phones the Yemeni Prime Minister Abdul Karim urging him to ensure the men are "given every opportunity to defend themselves".
Yemen pressed over prisoners

23 December 1998 Six men are arrested in an Aden Hotel on charges of terrorism.

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