Brussels court sentences Syria fighters to up to 10 years

Summary

Six men have been found guilty of links to terrorist networks in Syria and Somalia, though one is thought to have died while fighting in Iraq and two others were absent

Former Belgian soldier

A court in Brussels has found six men guilty of links to terrorist networks in Syria and Somalia. They were given sentences of between three and 10 years in prison. The men were accused of making contact with terrorists in the two countries between 2011 and 2013.

The lead accused, Sami L, was sentenced to 10 years. However, he was not present for sentencing as he is thought to have been killed in Iraq. He had been given a three-year suspended sentence in 2013 for links to the Al-Shabaab group, based in Somalia. Once released from detention he fled, reportedly to Iraq.

Two other men were absent, one fighting in Syria, but were sentenced to five years. Two men were sentenced to four years suspended, one of them 25-year-old Harris CC, a former Belgian soldier who lost both legs in a bombing in Syria.

The last accused, Hamza B, was given three years, also suspended. He had originally been considered the leader of the group, and the prosecution had demanded a sentence of five years.

Photo: Athena Lao/Flickr Commons 

Belgian justice system

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judicial courts across the country