UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council's al Qaeda sanctions committee decided on Friday to remove Saudi businessman Yasin Abdullah Ezzedine Qadi from the U.N. sanctions list, German U.N. Ambassador Peter Wittig announced.
"The Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee today agreed to follow the Ombudsperson's recommendation and remove Mr. Qadi's name from the Al Qaeda Sanctions List," Wittig, chairman of the committee, said in a statement.
"This decision is the result of thorough considerations among members of the Committee, based on a comprehensive report provided to the Committee by the Ombudsperson," he said.
Qadi was added to the U.N. blacklist in October 2001 for being a suspected associate of late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. He was also blacklisted by the United States and European Union.
The U.N. sanctions include an international assets freeze and travel ban.
In July the committee removed Saudi dissident Saad al-Faqih and his Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia (MIRA) from the U.N. al Qaeda sanctions list.
The committee ombudsman is Kimberly Prost of Canada.
Prior to the appointment of an ombudsman, the al Qaeda sanctions list was criticized by human rights advocates, who said it was virtually impossible to be removed from it.
Last year, the Security Council expanded the powers of the ombudsman, giving the office the authority to recommend removal of people from the U.N. blacklist. Council members must agree unanimously to override the recommendation of the ombudsman or call for the council to take up the issue.
(Reporting By Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Eric Walsh)