Karine A Trial Begins in RamallahKarine A Trial Begins in Ramallah

Published February 11th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

A senior Palestinian Authority official went on trial Monday in connection with the large shipment of weapons blocked by Israeli commando forces in the Red Sea on January 3.  


The smuggling affair was a key element in hardening Washington’s stance toward the Palestinian Authority in recent weeks. Israel claims Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was personally involved in trying to smuggle more than 50 tons of Iranian weapons, including anti-tank missiles, aboard the Karine A to the Gaza Strip.  


For his part, Yasser Arafat has denied any links to the weapons shipment and ordered an investigation into the matter. In this context, he ordered the arrest of Fuad Shubaki, a senior finance official in the Palestinian security services, and a second Palestinian Authority official. A third suspect named by Israel is abroad.  


Fuad Shubaki was brought before a three-judge panel Monday in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Many journalists, including Israelis, crowded into the courtroom, and hundreds of spectators waited outside.  


Senior Israeli defense officials said Shubaki financed the purchase of the vessel and the arms and ammunition it carried. (Albawaba.com) 

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