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Published On: Mon, Feb 13th, 2017

Belgian Court Sentences Returned Syria Terrorist Eloussaki to 28-Years for Murder

nsnbc : A Belgian Court convicted Hakim Elouassaki, who went to Syria to fight alongside terrorists and subsequently returned to Belgium of murder. Elouassaki was sentenced to 28 years behind bars.

Hakim Eloussaki_1_Belgium_Syria_2016The conviction of Hakim Elouassaki for terrorism-related murder committed in Syria is the first of its kind and will be setting a precedent for trials against other returning terrorists who joined Islamist terrorist groups in Syria, Iraq, or elsewhere.

Hakim Elouassaki was a member of the now banned Sharia4Belgium network. The network became among others known for recruiting “volunteers” and for helping establish contact to insurgencies in Syria.

He was convicted of murdering a Shi’ite captive in January 2013. The victim was murdered because his family wasn’t able to pay the ransom. The matter came to light after Elouassaki admitted the killing on the phone to his then girlfriend. He first admitted the killing, but then retracted his confession.

The 28-year sentence is not the most severe sentence available for terrorist murder and the fact that Elouassaki may have gotten away with a “relatively” mild sentence may be due to the controversial nature of the trial and conviction.

The conviction has stirred up controversy in Belgium and internationally too. Several experts in law stress the fact that some of the fundamental principles in law were violated. In other words, there is no body, no DNA evidence, and the identity of the alleged victim hasn’t been established.

The “body of evidence” in this case consists of the bragging admissions to the murder during phone conversations with his ex girlfriend and other phone data. That is, a video the defendant produced while he carried out the crime. The judge found that it was proven that Elouassaki shot from close range on two occasions, that he tried to film the incident, and that it was premeditated murder. The judge stressed that the defendant committed a particularly “inhumane act” and imposed a 28-year sentence. nsnbc has reviewed the video in question and found it to be genuine – we have chosen not to republish the ghastly video here to respect the dignity of the victim and his family.

Four other jihadis were acquitted. The for had been linked to a decapitation video but the court ruled that their involvement in the act hadn’t been proven. Another seven members of the Sharia4Belgium successor, Way of Life, a Salafist movement, were sentenced for taking part in or attempting to take part in activities of the group calling itself IS (a.k.a. Islamic State, ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh). Six received sentences of up to five years. A defendant who attempted to reintegrate into society got four years.

F/AK – nsnbc 23.02.2017

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