Prague ex-imam gets 10 years for supporting terrorism

Prague ex-imam gets 10 years for supporting terrorism
Czech police began investigating Samer Shehadeh in 2016 over alleged attempts to radicalize people. (Screengrab)
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Updated 28 February 2020

Prague ex-imam gets 10 years for supporting terrorism

Prague ex-imam gets 10 years for supporting terrorism
  • Shehadeh was arrested in Jordan before being flown back to the Czech Republic and taken into custody in November 2018
  • He maintains he is innocent of supporting terrorism because he regards the Syrian government as illegitimate and does not see Al-Nusra as a terror group

PRAGUE: The former imam of Prague was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Friday for helping his brother and sister-in-law join a terror group and for financing terrorism, a court spokeswoman said.
The court in the Czech capital found Samer Shehadeh, a 36-year-old of Palestinian origin, guilty of helping them join the Al-Nusra front, Al-Qaeda’s sister organization in Syria.
“Samer Shehadeh was sentenced to ten years,” Prague Municipal Court spokeswoman Marketa Puci told AFP, adding he appealed the verdict.
His brother Omar was sentenced to 11 years and his Czech sister-in-law to six years, Puci added. Both are at large.
Czech police began investigating Shehadeh in 2016 over alleged attempts to radicalize people as he had asked Czech Muslims not to join a Christian mass against terror in Prague in August of that year.
Samer was also found to have repeatedly sent money to Al-Nusra through intermediaries.
Czech prosecutors filed terrorism-related charges against him and his brother and sister-in-law in early 2018.
According to Czech media reports, Shehadeh was arrested in Jordan before being flown back to the Czech Republic and taken into custody in November 2018.
Shehadeh was also quoted as saying he was “proud” of having helped his relatives.
He maintains he is innocent of supporting terrorism because he regards the Syrian government as illegitimate and does not see Al-Nusra as a terror group.