Chiara Onassis | 15 May 2012
SANA’A: Early last month reports came out that Yemen’s finance ministry had release large sums of money for the construction of a mosque within the grounds of al-Iman University, which incidentally happens to belong to controversial Sheikh Abdel Mageed al-Zindani.
The prominent cleric and tribal leader has figured on several of America’s most wanted terror lists and was accused by the former Yemeni regime of having engineered last June’s attack against the presidential compound.
Yemenis rose in anger when they learned that Finance Minister Sakhr al-Wajeeh has agreed to allocate a reported $5 million towards the construction of the mosque while Yemen was struggling with its worst recorded economic crisis in decades and a catastrophic humanitarian situation.
The national reconciliation government which received a great deal of criticism when Al-Wajeeh approved the funding of the mosque, justified the move by saying that the amount had been allocated by the former regime and that the ministry was only responsible for approving it.
The Public Fund Court now demanded a suspension of all funding-related activities while lawyers are examining documents.
Lawyer Nazih al-Emad, who leads the prosecution stated that the government’s decision to approve this amount of money should be considered a crime and a misappropriation of public funds. He demanded the suspension of any procedures related to the funding amount and claimed that he will seek to have those responsible for the allocation held accountable.