Followers of Hussein Badr Eddin al-Houthi, killed in September, also chanted anti-American and anti-Israeli slogans inside the court on Monday.

"Death to America, death of Israel," some of the defendants, including a woman, chanted. Others recited verses from the Quran.

They said the judge had "nothing to do with fairness and objectivity but only serving the ruling regime".

Defendants were charged with forming a group aimed at destabilising the country and carrying out attacks that led to the death of one person and the injury of 27 others, according to Said al-Aqil, the state prosecutor general, who read out the charges.

Sedition charge

They were also accused of plotting assassinations of political and military officials, and planning attacks on intelligence apparatus and the state television building, according to al-Aqil.

Hussein Badr Eddin al-Houthi was
killed by government forces

Al-Houthi was killed after months of battling the government in a remote northern region. 

The government accused him of sedition, attacking government buildings and security forces, forming an illegal armed group and inciting people not to pay taxes.
 
Al-Houthi, a one-time political aspirant in his early 50s, has wide religious and tribal backing in the impoverished country and has long opposed the government's pro-American policies.

His fierce anti-US positions - fomented through mosque speeches and demonstrations - had caused problems for Yemen's government, which turned to the United States for military training and assistance to safeguard its borders from infiltration by rebels.