Yemen frees Sydney men


Their arrests captured national attention, not least because of revelations in the Herald that they were the sons of Abdul Rahim Ayub, the man credited with setting up a Jemaah Islamiah cell here in the 1990s.

Ms Hutchison divorced Ayub and later went to Taliban-era Afghanistan to work as a midwife and nurse. She fled Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001, attacks as coalition troops prepared to invade. Ms Hutchison remains in Sydney after ASIO confiscated her passport, although she says she does not know why.

In response to questions from the Herald after her sons’ arrest, she said they were innocent and were being unfairly vilified. Ms Hutchison was interviewed by ASIO just before the arrests, raising suspicions of some Australian co-operation in their capture.

The Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, has declined to comment, citing conventions not to comment on operational matters.

The Government has defended the time it took for Australian consular officials to get to the men. It took more than two weeks to do so, but the Department of Foreign Affairs says the Ramadan religious festival hampered their efforts.

Australian officials visited Samulski in jail at the weekend. Samulski is being treated well, said his lawyer, Stephen Hopper.

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(Let’s not forget that if the brothers had returned to Australia, having already been convicted by the media and facing trial in secret dressed up as "terrorists" in orange jumpsuits and shackles, they probably would have faced long prison sentences.) Paul


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