The American Center for Justice (ACJ) expresses its astonishment and outrage at the announcement made by the Military Court of the Fourth Military District that the accused of killing Abdul-Malik al-Sanabani are now fugitives from justice although they were arrested immediately after they had killed al-Sanabani. The center denounced their release and expressed its sorrow over the course of this case which does not achieve justice for the victim and his family, does not serve justice and the rule of law, and provides an opportunity for impunity.
The American Center for Justice (ACJ) is still following up on the case of the killing of Al-Sanabani at one of the military checkpoints of the 9th Brigade Sa’iqa in the Al-Jabalin area in the Tur Al-Baha district during his crossing of the point from Aden to Sana’a governorate, a year ago, a few hours after his return from the United States of America. The accused of killing al-Sanabani were the members of this checkpoint.
The Center believes that Al-Sanabani’s murder was distorted and diverted from its normal course when it was decided to try the accused before the military judiciary, which is not specialized in such cases. This thing led to the disruption of procedures and violation of the law.
The Military Prosecution took measures that constituted a breach and an encroachment on the powers of the Criminal Prosecution, which began investigating the crime based on the mandate of the Public Prosecutor.
The Center confirms that the measures taken by the Military Prosecution are a clear and explicit violation of the rules of specific jurisdiction in the investigation derived from the Code of Procedure, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the instructions of the Attorney General. The center demands that these procedures be stopped and considered as if they were not, and that the entire case file and documents be returned to the competent prosecution.
A year after the crime, the American Center for Justice would like to remind the Transitional Council of its promises to extradite the accused and facilitate the procedures for their trial, in compliance with the law and its sovereignty, and in order not to divert the course of the case or politicize it. ACJ also called on the STC to commit to those promises as soon as possible since the STC is the party takes control of the security and military in the southern governorates where the incident took place and where the accused come from.
The Center notes that it received a statement from the father of the victim Abdul-Malik Al-Sanabani, that the military court’s announcement did not contain the full names of the accused, and that there had been amendments therein, which complicates access to them and the reveal of their identities and places of residence. This suggests that there is collusion with the accused and an attempt to spare them a fair trial.
(ACJ) warns that the measures taken a year ago were intended to absorb popular anger and international condemnation. After the passage of time and the declining interest in the case, all of these procedures seem as if they are strenuous efforts to eliminate the case.
In the same context, the American Center for Justice (ACJ) deplores that the case of the murder of Atif Saif al-Harazi, a physician assistant who worked for Doctors Without Borders, continues to be locked up in the prosecution’s drawers without even summoning the accused for interrogation, which encourages the commission of more of these crimes due to the impunity of the perpetrators.
Al-Harazi was killed by local gunmen at a “collection” point they had set up near an educational center in the Tur al-Baha area, a few weeks after the killing of al-Sanabani.
The American Center for Justice (ACJ) points to the danger of the continuing state of impunity in these two and other crimes as this situation encourages the spread of this type of crime and increases the state of lawlessness, which in turn threatens civil security and the expansion of social rifts, warning that impunity will lead to the spread of revenge and reprisal and more lawlessness.