Al-Qaeda militants made death threats against a judge in Sanaa after he sentenced them to jail on Tuesday for plotting attacks in Yemen, an AFP correspondent present in court said.
"You apostate, you dog. We will eliminate you," Bilal al-Hababi, who was sentenced to six years in prison, shouted at Judge Ahmed al-Maalami at the Sanaa court.
"Ansar al-Sharia (Islamic law) will come to show you the rule of God," he said while four other jihadists, also sentenced to jail, waved a black Al-Qaeda flag in support.
Ansar al-Sharia is the local branch of Al-Qaeda in Yemen where the network, although weakened, is still active mainly in the south and east of the country.
The court handed the militants jail sentences ranging between four and 10 years, on charges of forming an armed group to carry out attacks against military, government buildings and foreign interests in Yemen.
The militants were arrested in the eastern Shabwa province in 2011.
Al-Qaeda loyalists seized large swathes of the south and east in 2011, taking advantage of a decline in central government control during an 11-month uprising that forced veteran president Ali Abullah Saleh from power.
Governments troops have since recaptured much of the territory with support from US drone strikes but the jihadists retain bases in the desert east of the country.