Accused of recruiting jihadists risk 152 years in prison, among them two imams

 Serious Crimes Prosecution demanded maximum sentences for two imams and seven other defendants, who are accused of sending to Syria more than 100 Albanians during 2012-2014.

Serious Crimes Prosecution sought a sentence of 152 years in prison in total for nine defendants accused of recruiting Albanians in the Syrian war and incitement of terrorist acts, who are tried for more than a year in Tirana. According to the Prosecution, there is ample evidence to prove that the defendants, among whom were two imams, have convinced and sent to Syria more than 70 Albanians to fight alongside terrorist groups like Al Nusra and ISIS.

On Tuesday, the prosecution asked 20 years in prison for two imams, Genci Balla and Bujar Hysa, who are accused of standing on top of the Albanian network of recruitment. Balla and Hysa have previously denied the charges.

Twenty years in prison risks also Gerti Pasha, who was arrested in Turkey and deported to deal with the Albanian Justice on spring 2014. According Serious Crimes Prosecution, there is evidence that Pasha has traveled some times with Albanian jihadists to Syria.


Prosecution sought a sentence of 15 years in prison each for five other defendants; Orion Reçi, Astrit Tola, Verdi Morava, Fadil Muslimani and Edmond Balla, while for Zeqir Ymei demanded 17 years in prison. All of them are also accused of "public incitement for committing terrorist acts" and "recruitment of persons with the purpose of committing terrorist acts".

Nine of the accused as members of a network of recruiters for jihad was arrested in March 2014 after Albania adopted a new legislation to investigate and prosecute participation in foreign conflicts. 2-year investigation has revealed that over 100 Albanians, among whom were women and children went to Syria during 2012-2014.

During these years, 18 Albanians were killed in the war in Syria, while the fate of women and children remains unclear till now.

Accused of recruiting jihadists risk 152 years in prison, among them two imams Accused of recruiting jihadists risk 152 years in prison, among them two imams Sunday, April 10, 2016 Rating: 5
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