updated 8/28/2004 7:10:14 AM ET 2004-08-28T11:10:14

A court convicted 15 Yemeni militants Saturday on terrorism charges including the 2002 bombing of a French oil tanker and plotting to kill the U.S. ambassador.

One man was sentenced to death for killing a Yemeni police officer and seven were sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Six of the defendants plus one man tried in absentia, who received the longest prison terms — 10 years — were found guilty of participating in the October 2002 bombing of the Limburg oil tanker, which killed a Bulgarian crew member and spilled 90,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf of Aden.

The conviction of one of those men, Fawaz al-Rabeiee, also included the attack on a helicopter carrying Hunt Oil Co. employees a month later and the detonation of explosions at a civil aviation authority building. Al-Rabeiee also was fined $100,000 to compensate for the building damage.

The death sentence was handed down to Hazam Majali, convicted of killing a Yemeni police officer at a checkpoint in 2002.

Six militants were sentenced to five years in prison. They were found guilty of detonating explosives at embassies, plotting to assassinate U.S. Ambassador Edmund Hull as well as security officials and for roles in the attack on the helicopter carrying employees of Texas-based Hunt Oil.

One defendant was sentenced to three years in prison for falsifying documents relating to the various attacks.

The defendants, including some with suspected ties to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist network, have rejected the court’s legitimacy and said they would appeal its verdict.

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