Jihadist ringleader, 8 others get up to 6 years in prison
The high security court sentenced Azzedine C., the prime suspect in the largest jihad trial in the Netherlands so far, to six years in prison on Thursday. The other eight suspects were also given prison sentences of varying length, AD reports.
Azzedine C., alias Abou Moussa, is seen as the ringleader of the group of suspects. The Public Prosecutor demanded 7 years in prison against the 33 year old man. According to the prosecutor, he was the face of the radicalized young people who walked the streets of The Hague waving flags and shouting slogans. The court acquitted C. of recruitment, but did find him guilty of hate speech and incitement to violence against Jews during demonstrations in The Hague.
The 25 year old Rudolph H., alias Suhayb, was sentenced to 3 years in prison, one of which conditionally suspended. The Public Prosecutor demanded 6 years in prison against him. According to the prosecutor, H. played a central role and was the "media man" of the group. He was also responsible for the website De Ware Religie, The True Religion in English.
19 year old Oussama C., alias Abou Yazeed, also got 3 years in prison, one of which conditionally suspended. The Public Prosecutor demanded a 5 year prison sentence against him. According to the prosecutor, the young man held sermons and lectures in which he "ripened" the souls of his fellow believers for the fight in Syria and Iraq. Unlike Azzedine C., Oussama C. was found guilty of one charge of recruitment.
Moussa L., 41, was sentenced to 43 days in prison plus two months conditional. The Public Prosecutor demanded 30 months, 10 of which conditional. According to the prosecutor, L. was not a key figure, but was actively involved in the demonstrations. He was also featured in the film "Sta op voor Syrie", or "Stand up for Syria" in English, which called on people not to let the "brothers" in Syria down.
Iman B. was sentenced to 7 days in prison. The Public Prosecutor demanded 2 years. B. is the only female suspect in this trial and is married to Azzedine C. According to the prosecutor, she was C.'s "right hand" and guilty of sedition via social media.
The 30 year old Hicham el O. was sentenced to 5 years in prison. The Public Prosecutor demanded 4 years, one of which conditionally suspended. According to the prosecutor, El O. is a returned "Syrieganger" - a foreign rebel fighter in the Syrian Civil war.
Jordi de J., 22, alias Jihad Jordi, was sentenced to 155 days in prison. The Public Prosecutor demanded three years, one of which conditional. According to the Prosecutor, De J. took part in a training camp in Syria in 2013. When he returned he joined Azzedine C.'s group.
Anis Z., 24, was sentenced to 6 years in prison. The Public Prosecutor demanded 5 years. Anis Z. is currently still fighting in Syria.
Hatim R., 26, was sentenced to 6 years in prison, equal to what the Prosecutor demanded. R. is also still in Syria. He followed and commented the trial via Twitter in September. "Following the jihad trial with a bag of chips and ice tea. What a puppet show!" he tweeted.
There were initially 10 suspects involved in this trial, but the case against Soufiane Z. - brother of Anis Z. and known for the propaganda film Oh Oh Aleppo - is on hold because he is believed dead in Syria.
The court started the day's hearing by stating that freedom of religion is absolute, and that means freedom for all religions. Only actions are punishable.