LONDON: A Tripoli-born terror attacker who stabbed three people to death in Reading, England is launching attempts to appeal against his whole-life prison sentence.
Khairi Saadallah, 26, went on a stabbing frenzy on June 20, 2020, killing three and wounding others.
When he was sentenced in January, the judge said this was a “rare and exceptional case in which just punishment requires that you must be kept in prison for the rest of your life.”
The terrorist is now seeking the opportunity to appeal against his sentence, which is reserved for the worst offenders such as terrorists, serial killers, and child murderers.
His case will be heard at the Court of Appeal in London on Oct. 14.
Saadallah’s frenzied rampage in Reading, in which he stabbed groups of friends socializing in public gardens, was indiscriminate and extremely violent.
During his trial, the court was told that the men who died did not have a chance to react due to the suddenness and speed of the attack.
Britons James Furlong, 36, and David Wails, 49, were killed alongside American Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, 39.
The defense argued that Saadallah should not receive a whole-life order on the basis that there was no extremist motivation, harking back to the trend of this severe sentence being reserved for terror offenders. They also argued that culpability was reduced by his mental health.
In supporting his sentence, the judge said a whole-life order was necessary due to the “exceptionally high” seriousness of the offenses, which were premeditated and had terroristic motivations.
The defense’s attempts to claim that Saadallah was mentally ill were disregarded by Justice Nigel Sweeney, who outlined how his only visit to a mental health institution was inspired by drug consumption.
The judge ruled that the knifing frenzy was carried out for a “religious, political or ideological cause,” because Saadallah shouted “God is the greatest” and “God accept my jihad” in Arabic during his killing spree.
Saadallah had fought for the Ansar Al-Sharia militia in Libya as a teenager during the country’s civil war, which the Home Office failed to discover while investigating. The judge used his links to the terror outfit as evidence of the Libyan’s extremist views, which he said he continued to hold despite issues with drink and drugs.