March 25, 2017 / 7:46 PM / 3 years ago

Pro-Houthi court sentences Yemen president to death for treason

A police trooper mans a machine gun mounted on a patrol truck securing a street where people loyal to Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi demonstrated to show support to Hadi in the country's northern city of Marib November 3, 2016. REUTERS/Ali Owidha

DUBAI (Reuters) - A Yemeni court in territory controlled by the armed Houthi movement sentenced the group’s enemy in a two-year-old civil war President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and six other top officials in his government to death for “high treason” on Saturday.

The decision by a court in the capital Sanaa, reported by the state news agency Saba, which is run by the Houthis, may render more remote the resumption of stalled peace talks to end the conflict which has killed at least 10,000 people.

Saudi Arabia and a mostly Gulf Arab military coalition have launched thousands of air strikes and a small number of ground troops to try to dislodge the Houthis and restore Hadi to power.

The Houthis, allied to Saudi Arabia’s arch-enemy Iran, have progressively lost territory to the offensive but maintain control over the capital and most population centres.

Several rounds of peace talks have ended in failure and the Houthis insist Hadi is illegitimate and must stand down, a position rejected by his government and the United Nations.

Saba quoted the Sanaa criminal court as having convicted Hadi of “incitement and assistance to the aggressor state of Saudi Arabia and its allies.”

The death sentence for high treason was also passed down on several senior government officials including the ambassador to the United States Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak and the former foreign minister Riyadh Yassin.

“With great pride my name is on this list of honour,” bin Mubarak wrote on his official Facebook page, calling his convicted colleagues his “brothers”.

Reporting By Noah Browning, editing by David Evans

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