Three French Daesh members sentenced to death in Iraq

Iraqi soldiers stand guard near the Iraqi city of Qaim at the Iraqi-Syrian border. (File/AFP)
Updated 27 May 2019
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Three French Daesh members sentenced to death in Iraq

  • Iraq has taken custody of thousands of extremists repatriated in recent months from neighbouring Syria, where they were caught by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Those sentenced on Sunday were among 12 French citizens who were caught in Syria and transferred to Iraqi custody in February

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi court on Sunday sentenced three French citizens to death after they were found guilty of joining Daesh, a court official said.
Captured in Syria by a US-backed force fighting the extremists, Kevin Gonot, Leonard Lopez and Salim Machou are the first French Daesh members to receive death sentences in Iraq, where they were transferred for trial. They have 30 days to appeal. 

Iraq has taken custody of thousands of extremists repatriated in recent months from neighbouring Syria, where they were caught by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces during the battle to destroy Daesh's "caliphate".
Iraqi courts have placed on trial hundreds of foreigners, condemning many to life in prison and others to death, although no foreign Daesh members have yet been executed.
Those sentenced on Sunday were among 12 French citizens who were caught in Syria and transferred to Iraqi custody in February.
Rights groups including Human Rights Watch have criticised Iraq's anti-terror trials, which they say often rely on circumstantial evidence or confessions obtained under torture.
Analysts have also warned that prisons in Iraq have in the past acted as "academies" for future extremists, including Daesh supremo Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.

 


Former Egyptian president Morsi buried in Cairo: lawyer

Updated 18 June 2019
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Former Egyptian president Morsi buried in Cairo: lawyer

  • Morsi, was suffering from a benign tumor, had continuous medical attention, says state TV
  • The former president died aged 67

CAIRO: Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi was buried on Tuesday in eastern Cairo, one of his lawyers said, a day after he collapsed in court and died.

“He was buried in Medinat Nasr, in eastern Cairo, with his family present. The funeral prayer was said in Tora prison hospital” where he was declared dead on Monday, his lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maksoud said.

Egyptian state television announced that Morsi, 67, who was ousted by the military on July 3, 2013, had been attending a court session at his trial on charges of espionage and links with the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

It was reported that he collapsed in the courtroom inside a glass cage he and others had been sharing, before his body was transferred to a local hospital.

Morsi died from a sudden heart attack, state television reported early on Tuesday, citing a medical source. The source said the former president, who was suffering from a benign tumor, had continuous medical attention.

Attorney-General Nabil Sadiq issued a statement saying: “The accused, Mohammed Morsi, in the presence of the other defendants inside the cage, fell unconscious, where he was immediately transferred to the hospital.

“The preliminary medical report stated that by external medical examination they found no pulse, no breathing, and his eyes were unresponsive to light. He died at 4:50 p.m. and no apparent injuries to the body were found.”

Sadiq added he had ordered the transfer of teams from the Supreme State Security Prosecution Office and the Southern Cairo Prosecution Office to conduct an investigation into Morsi’s death, and to examine surveillance footage from the courtroom and collect witness testimonies.

He also ordered that a senior forensic committee headed by the chief medical officer and the director of forensic medicine to prepare a forensic report on the cause of death.

Various outlets say that a state of high alert has been issued by the military and the Ministry of the Interior throughout the country following the news, for fear of riots or activity by the Muslim Brotherhood, in which Morsi was a prominent figure.

Morsi became president in June 2012 after the first democratic elections in the country following the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak on Jan. 25, 2011. He was Egypt’s fifth president.

He was born to a family of farmers on Aug. 20, 1951, in the village of Al-Adwa in Sharkia province. He married in 1978 and leaves behind his wife, five children and three grandchildren.

Following his deposition and arrest, Morsi was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment on Oct. 22, 2016, over bloody clashes that took place on Dec. 5, 2012 in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and opponents of Morsi rejecting a constitutional declaration issued in November of that year.

Other sentences meant his total incarceration could have been up to 48 years, with the ongoing espionage case potentially carrying a further maximum sentence of 25 years.

In Istanbul on Tuesday, hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters took to the streets, mourning former Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi and some chanting slogans blaming Cairo authorities for his death.

* With AFP