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Yemen refuses to extradite politician sought by US

Hadi denounces charges, says no citizens will be handed over to a foreign country

Image Credit: AFP
Abdulwahab Al-Homaiqani (C), secretary-general of the Yemeni Rashad Union, the first Yemeni Salafi party, attends a rally alongside party members in the capital Sanaa on January 4, 2014, against the US government's inclusion of Homaiqani on the list of al-Qaeda supporters. The Yemeni news agency said that "the Republic of Yemen submitted a formal request to the American authorities to provide evidence underlining their decision".
Gulf News

Sana’a: Yemen’s president has refused to extradite the head of an ultraconservative political party who the US has accused of financing Al Qaida.

In a statement aired on state television Sunday, President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi denounced the charges and said his government had informed the US it will not hand over citizens to any foreign country, including Abdul Wahhab Mohammad Abdul Rahman Al Humaiqani, secretary general of the Yemeni Rashad Union, the country’s first ultraconservative Salafi party.

In December, the US imposed sanctions on Al Humaiqani, accusing him of having used his position as head of a Yemen-based charity to send funds to the group Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. He also is accused of facilitating financial transfers from Al Qaida supporters in Saudi Arabia to Yemen.

Al Humaiqani told Gulf News that the US charges are “baseless and unjust”.

“The US has two choices, either to drop accusations or bring evidence to substantiate allegations and I am ready to stand before a Yemeni court to defend myself,” he said.

“These accusations come in the context of political conspiracies in Yemen. Some people fed the Americans with false information about me to curb my activities,” added Al Humaiqani.

He said the US might want to punish him to his active role with Al Karama Foundation that campaigns against US drone strikes that have killed many civilians in Yemen.

“I used to be in charge of the foundation’s branch in Yemen. I was also running a charity called Al Rashad which offers help to widows and orphans. The sanction will have an impact on my activities. I will not be able to send or receive funds,” he added.

— with inputs from Saeed Al Batati, Yemen correspondent