Yemeni high court upholds death sentence


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Yemen’s Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of a Yemeni man who killed a Jewish fellow citizen after demanding that he convert.

The court on Saturday affirmed the sentence of death by firing squad levied by an appeals court on Abdel Aziz Yahia al-Abdi, 39, for the December 2008 slaying of Masha Yaish Nahari, a father of nine from Raydah. Abdi killed Nahari after saying that Yemeni Jews should convert or be killed.

An appeals court in June 2009 had overturned a lower court ruling that had ordered Abdi to pay blood money to the family; the Abdi family had appealed to the Supreme Court.

Abdi, who is alleged to have murdered his wife two years before he killed Nahari, is said to be mentally unstable, according to the Yemen Post.

Nahari’s children moved to Israel after the murder. His parents, wife and siblings remain in Yemen. 

Fewer than 200 Jews still live in Yemen, down from about 60,000 in 1948.

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