Yemen Sentences American-Born Cleric in Absentia

A judge in Yemen sentenced the radical American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in absentia on Monday to 10 years in prison on charges of incitement to murder and belonging to a terrorist group. Mr. Awlaki was convicted in connection with the murder in October of a French citizen, Jacques Spagnolo, in the Yemeni capital, Sana. Prosecutors said that in e-mail exchanges, Mr. Awlaki incited the 19-year-old gunman, Hisham Muhammad Assem, to kill foreigners. A cousin of Mr. Awlaki’s who is also in hiding, Othman al-Awlaki, was accused of incitement in the case along with him, and was sentenced to eight years in prison. The trial was widely seen in Yemen as a gesture to placate the United States government and to legitimize Yemen’s own efforts to capture Mr. Awlaki, who belongs to a powerful tribe that is protecting him.

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