AMRAN, Yemen (AFP) — The prosecution demanded the death sentence on Monday for a Yemeni Muslim who has boasted of killing a Jewish compatriot north of the capital Sana'a late last year.
The court set March 2 as the date for its verdict against Abdul Aziz Yahya al-Abdi, 39, who admitted in December to shooting dead Masha Yaeish al-Nahari in the town of Raydah in Amran province.
Abdi, peering from the dock into the court through an iron gate, showed no remorse for his actions and repeatedly interrupted the prosecutor during the hearing to renew his confession.
The former air force pilot has repeatedly said he carried out the murder after warning Yemeni Jews that he would kill them unless they converted to Islam.
"I told them in a letter that they should either convert to Islam or leave Yemen, or I would kill them," he said at an earlier hearing.
The small courtroom was packed with several dozen other members of Abdi's Kharef tribe, many wearing a traditional jambiya or curved dagger on their belts.
Many were relatives of Abdi who had come to support him and they laughed wholeheartedly at his often incoherent remarks.
The only Jewish people present were the victim's father and widow -- also the only woman in the courtroom.
Other members of the region's small Jewish community attended two earlier hearings but stayed away on Monday because of threats by Abdi's supporters, Yahya Yaish, an elder of the community, told AFP.
"I am not mad," the accused man shouted, even as his four lawyers sought to show that he was not responsible for Nahari's death because of his state of mind.