Yemen strongly condemns Houthi attack near Makkah

Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek Al-Mekhlafi. (Reuters file photo)
Updated 30 October 2016
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Yemen strongly condemns Houthi attack near Makkah

JEDDAH: Yemeni government on Friday said Houthis failed attempt to attack Makkah undermines regional stability and proves they are a menace to world stability.
“We seek peace and they seek war; we look for the stability of Yemen and the region, and they look for destruction and sedition, and reaffirm they are a menace to the world peace,” Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek Al-Mekhlafi said on Friday, adding that the deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the Houthi militias are seeking a regional war to implement their plans offensive to Arabs and Muslims, and show that those "criminal gangs" have no respect for the sanctity of Islam.
"This criminal act is additional proof that the Houthis are the tool Iran is using to destroy Yemen and its neighboring countries," he said.
Seperately, the Yemeni government on Friday denounced and condemned in the strongest and harshest words the blatant ballistic missile attack on Makkah by Houthi and forces of ousted Ali Abdullah Saleh, describing the assault as a clear violation of all international norms and values, and human ethics and morals.
“This irresponsible act reveals the true face of the Houthis and proves their sectarian nature driven by Iran, through its puppets in the region, which has been campaigning for a sectarian incitement recently against Saudi Arabia,” a Yemeni government official said in a statement sent to Arab News yesterday, adding that the attack and the recklessness of Houthi militias and Saleh forces reflect their association with the destructive Persian scheme against Arabs and all Muslims as well as sacred Muslim shrines.
 He pointed out that the Yemeni people and government reject and condemn this flagrant and criminal assault by the Houthis against the feelings of millions of Muslims, adding that Yemen fully supports and stands in solidarity with Saudi Arabia and its wise leadership in confronting anyone trying to compromise its security and stability, or dare to target the religious shrines.
The official called on all Arab and Muslims states to support Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s government, the legitimate government that is being internationally recognized, and the Arab coalition in their efforts to restore the hijacked legitimacy from the putschists and those supporting them, in aborting their dangerous plans deemed destructive for the present and the future of the Arab and Islamic nation.
“We urge the UN, the Security Council and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to immediately mobilize efforts and take strict measures to put an end to Iran’s blatant interventions through their tools to sabotage the region, and not just issue statements of condemnation or denunciation,” he said.
 The official pointed out that the Houthi militias confirm through this behavior, in addition to their previous attempts to target ships in the Strait of Bab Al-Mandeb undermining the freedom of international maritime movement, and their daily crimes against Yemenis, that it is still determined to proceed with its subversive and destructive disregard of all the international community’s binding decisions aimed at putting an end to the suffering of the Yemenis and ending the war sparked by the rebel group.
 He said the restoration of the legitimate state by ending the coup, and the application of the terms of reference agreed upon locally and internationally for a political solution, based on the GCC initiative and the outcomes of the National Dialogue and UNSC Resolution 2216, is the only way to address the perils of the Houthis at the local, regional and international levels.


Bouteflika-era tycoon jailed for six months in Algeria

Updated 18 June 2019
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Bouteflika-era tycoon jailed for six months in Algeria

  • Ali Haddad was earlier arrested in possession of two passports
  • Haddad is widely perceived to have used his links to Bouteflika to build his business empire

ALGIERS: Algeria’s top businessman Ali Haddad, a key supporter of ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, was jailed for six months on Monday for holding two passports, in the first conviction in a string of corruption probes.

The business tycoon was arrested in late March on the border with Tunisia in possession of two passports and undeclared currency, days before Bouteflika resigned in the face of mass protests.

Haddad, who owns Algeria’s largest private construction company, is the first high-profile figure with ties to Bouteflika to be jailed since the president stepped down on April 2 after two decades in power. He was found guilty of the “unjustified procurement of administrative documents” and also fined 50,000 dinars ($420), state television reported.

Described by Forbes as one of Algeria’s wealthiest entrepreneurs, Haddad is widely perceived to have used his links to Bouteflika to build his business empire.

The businessman, a key election campaign funder for Bouteflika, had denied breaking the law and said he obtained his second passport legally after seeking an interview with then-Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal.

The ex-premier and Haddad are among many businessmen and former politicians caught up in a separate anti-corruption investigation launched since the president stepped down.

Earlier this month Haddad’s lawyer, Khaled Bourayou, decried a “political trial” and told journalists the passport case had no legal basis.

The sentence is significantly lower than the 18 months term and fine of 100,000 dinars requested by the prosecutor.

Hassane Boualem, then-director of titles and secure documents at the Interior Ministry, was given a two-month suspended sentence and fined 20,000 dinars for issuing Haddad’s second passport in 2016.

He told the court he was following the orders of his superiors — Interior Ministry head Hocine Mazouz, Sellal and Algeria’s current premier, Noureddine Bedoui — who were not investigated over the affair.

Last week, a judge placed in detention two former prime ministers, Sellal as well as Ahmed Ouyahia, who served four terms as premier.

An investigating magistrate on Sunday conditionally released former Finance Minister Karim Djoudi as part of the corruption probes. Karim Djoudi, finance minister between 2007 and 2014, appeared before the supreme court’s magistrate in connection with the disappearance of public funds and abuse of office.

The supreme court is the only judicial body with jurisdiction over offenses committed in public office by government members, local officials and high magistrates.

Former Transport Minister Amar Tou was also conditionally released after appearing before the investigating magistrate.

Djoudi and Tou are among 12 former Algerian officials subject to preliminary probes for alleged criminal offenses.

Former Trade Minister Amara Benyounes has been detained in El Harrach prison, in an eastern suburb of Algiers, and former Public Works Minister Abdelghani Zaalane has been conditionally released.

Army chief General Gaid Salah, the key powerbroker in post-Bouteflika Algeria, vowed Monday that no one would be spared from the corruption probes.

The judiciary must “bring to justice all the corrupt regardless of their function or their social rank,” he said. “The fight against corruption knows no limit and no exception will be made to anyone... it’s time to settle accounts,” Salah said, adding it was “time to clean up our country.”

The graft probes have also seen a dozen Bouteflika-linked businessmen placed in preventative detention.

Demonstrations have continued since the ailing head of state stepped down, as protesters demand the fall of regime insiders and the establishment of independent institutions.