Wilde Sapte lawyer beaten in Yemen

WILDE Sapte lawyer Rashad Yaqoob, who was brutally beaten by secret police in Yemen, has told how he hid in toilets to evade deportation.

Yaqoob, a human rights campaigner, is now back behind his desk at the City law firm after spending three weeks in Aden assisting the five British men accused of terrorist activities in Yemen.

In an interview with The Lawyer, Yaqoob says he managed to evade the authorities at the airport by hiding in the lavatories – escaping deportation when he arrived in the country.

“I had to hide in the toilets for an hour because the secret police went looking for me,” he says.

Yaqoob, 26, assistant law-yer in the firm's project finance group, says of the trial: “The prosecution effectively ran the show – it was a total farce.” He was thrown out of the courtroom on two separate occasions following objections by the prosecution.

Shortly before a press conference, Yaqoob was arrested by the secret police at gunpoint outside a hotel and placed in the same cell used to torture the five accused.

He was beaten for an hour by police, but freed after making a series of telephone calls to contacts in the government.

His release was ordered by the president's brother.

The next day he was permitted to see the defendants and take full instructions from them, as well as sit with them in court.

On his departure, Yemen's Attorney General offered a formal apology and ordered an immediate investigation into the allegations of abuse of process and torture and Yaqoob's treatment.