Saleh Should Be Held To Account: All Those Cooperating With Him Should Also Be Put On Trial
28 February 2015
By Abdulrahman Al-Rashed
A UN probe has stated that former president of Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh
amassed a fortune of up to 60 billion US dollars during his time in power. It
is an unimaginable number, even when judged by the standard of wealthy
nations. His actual wealth is probably less than a quarter of this amount,
but that is still a huge sum for the president of such a poor country. It
seems he is even wealthier than the richest people in the world.
Whether his fortune amounts to one billion or 60 billion dollars, what he is
doing today to sabotage the political process in Yemen should result in the
freezing of his assets as authorized by the UN Security Council in 2014.
Because of Saleh's continuous defiance of UN resolutions, his success in
hindering the transitional government as well as his alliance with rebels who
have conquered Sana'a, all parties are expected to seek the formation of a
committee to investigate his wealth and return it to the Yemeni government.
This will restrain his financial capabilities and his influence inside and
Saleh has been looting the Yemeni people for over 30 years. He wants to
deprive them of the possibility of overcoming his oppression and starting a
new era. This is why they stay silent about him and his money; they forgave
him and do not demand that he be held accountable. Yemenis have treated their
isolated former president with a rare sense of decency when he left the
country defeated and sought treatment in Saudi hospitals.
Yemeni political forces granted him immunity from being held accountable for
what he did over the past three decades. They wanted to forgive him, leave
the past behind, avoid feuds and build a new Yemen for everyone. However,
recent events have revealed that Saleh is corrupt and a key player in the
sabotage of the new regime, with the help of the Houthi rebels. The situation
in Yemen has become very serious. The government was forced to move to a
temporary capital, while Saleh's supporters and the Houthis keep on
threatening to divide the country and ignite a civil war. After all this,
international organizations are now expected to re-open the file of the
overthrown president. He should be subject to prosecution and the
confiscation of his fortune, and not just asset freezes, in accordance with
the Security Council resolution: All those cooperating with him should also
be put on trial.
Al Rashed is the general manager of
Al -Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-
Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine, Al Majalla. He is also a
senior Columnist in the daily newspapers of Al Madina and Al Bilad. He is a
US post-graduate degree in mass communications. He has been a guest on many
TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.