Spain re-arrests Aljazeera journalist

Spanish Police have re-arrested Aljazeera correspondent in Madrid Taysir Alluni for the third time and his verdict advanced by a week to 19 September.

    Alluni was re-arrested for the third time

    The arrest on Friday followed orders by the investigation judge, Aljazeera reported.

    Speaking to Aljazeera, Alluni's wife Fatima al-Zahraa said Alluni was told that the date of the sentencing was changed from the originally scheduled 26 September and was taken handcuffed to a prison in Granada.  


     
    "His lawyer has contacted the judge and hinted that Alluni would most likely be given a nine-year prison term. Apparently, out of fear that he might escape the authorities decided to arrest him and put him in prison until the trial," she said.

    The same reason was given when Alluni was re-arrested last November after a request by the Spanish prosecutor's office said there was a strong risk that he would try to flee the country before his trial.

    He was released last march after a stretch of 119 days in solitary confinement, but placed under mandatory house arrest pending trial.

    Charges

    Spanish judge in charge of terrorism affairs Baltasar Garzon has filed more than one charge against Alluni foremost of which is that he is affiliated to al-Qaida, in addition to forging close links with suspected chief of the so-called Spanish al-Qaida cell, the Syrian Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, alias "Abi Dahdah". Another charge Alluni faces is that of delivering money to the al-Qaida network in Afghanistan.
     

    "The trial is highly politicised and in the full glare of the media. The prosecutor who ordered me re-arrested alleging I would escape never presented any evidence to support his claim"

    Taysir Alluni, the previous time when he was arrested and released

    Alluni, who obtained an interview with bin Ladin after the September 2001 attacks, is accused of being an al-Qaida member and of having had "close links for many years" with Yarkas.
     
    Yarkas is alleged to have asked Alluni to give money to al-Qaida members in Afghanistan during a reporting assignment for Aljazeera.

    Denial

    Alluni denies the allegations and has questioned the impartiality of the Spanish judiciary saying the trial is political.

    "The trial is highly politicised and in the full glare of the media. The prosecutor who ordered me re-arrested alleging I would escape never presented any evidence to support his claim," Alluni said the last time he was released.

    He was first arrested in 2003 on suspicion of links with al-Qaida as part of an investigation into suspected Islamist operations in Spain. He was then released due to chronic back problems and heart ailments.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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