Yemen MPs lift immunity of rebel chief brother

President Ali Abdullah Saleh is himself a Zaidi but the rebels reject his regime as illegitimate.

Yemen MPs lift immunity of rebel chief brother
The Yemeni parliament announced on Saturday that it had lifted the immunity from prosecution of the brother of Zaidi rebel commander Abdul Malak al-Huti, an MP currently believed to be abroad.

The decision followed a request from the justice ministry which is seeking to prosecute Yahia al-Huti, the official Saba news agency said.

He is accused of "taking part in the formation of an armed group... inciting rebellion against the regime, support for acts of terrorism and sabotage in areas of Saada province... and sharing intelligence with foreign powers."

Saada province in the northern mountains on the border with Saudi Arabia has been the heartland of the uprising launched by the Zaidi rebels in 2004 in which thousands of people have died.

The rebels are fighting to restore the Zaidi imamate which was overthrown in a 1962 republican coup in Yemen, one of the world's poorest countries.

An offshoot of Shiite Islam, the Zaidis form a minority in the mainly Sunni country but are the majority community in the far north.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh is himself a Zaidi but the rebels reject his regime as illegitimate.

The two sides signed a Qatari-brokered peace deal in June last year but there has been repeated wrangling about its implementation.

In February, they met again in Qatar to revive the deal.

The accord requires the government to release rebel prisoners, dismantle roadblocks and withdraw troops from urban areas of Saada province in return for rebel disarmament.

The two sides accuse each other of reneging on the terms of the deal.

The insurgents are known as Huthis after their late commander, Hussein Badr Eddin al-Huthi, who was killed by the army in September 2004. Hussein was succeeded as field commander by Abdul Malak, his brother.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Haziran 2008, 15:57
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