Franco-Syrian Imam Bassam Ayachi, “informant” of secret services, sentenced to one year in prison

This figure of Belgian Islamism was sentenced to Paris to five years’ imprisonment, including a firm year, for association of terrorist criminals.

Le Monde with AFP

He is a figure of Belgian Islamism. The Franco-Syrian Imam Bassam Ayachi was sentenced to Paris to five years’ imprisonment, including a firm year, for the association of terrorist criminals. Justice also considered that he had indeed been an “informant” of the secret services.

Considered in Belgium as a veteran of radical Islamism, the 75 -year -old sheikh was tried in April in the French capital for its activities in Syria, in the Idlib region, between 2014 and 2018. The court A Estimated that he had belonged to a “terrorist” group, Ahrar al-Cham, for which he directed the “public relations office” in Idlib. Although it is not mentioned as such on international lists, this Salafist organization is considered “terrorist” by French case law.

On a video of March 2015, we see Bassam Ayachi “penetrating in Idlib like a warlord”, he “gives instructions” then “poses behind a banner of the Al-Nosra Front”, then affiliated to Al-Qaida , underlined the president by rendering the decision. He had also “federated military groups” and “rendered justice”, she added.

“It is undeniable that Bassam Ayachi provided information to Belgian and French services,” also stressed the magistrate. However, “this situation does not make the offense disappear”: “French law does not provide any exemption for the police informer.”

his status as informant “taken into account”

The court nevertheless decided to “take into account” it, noting that the “refusal of declassification” during the investigation of secret-defense documents by the Ministry of the French Army “must not be detrimental” because “he” cannot be excluded that he has rendered real services to France “. The jurisdiction remained below the requisitions of the national anti -terrorist prosecution (PNAT), which had requested five years of imprisonment including two farm.

Opposed to the Islamic State organization, the Imam, who lost an arm in Syria, was absent during the pronouncement of the decision. At the trial, he had condemned the “bastards of terrorists” and argued that he had “served his people in Syria and preserved [his] people in France”.

He has already spent thirteen months in pre -trial detention, which covers his prison sentence. The rest is a probationary stay, which obliges him to declare his residence and prohibits him from traveling without authorization, to contact a list of people and to carry a weapon.

A French jihadist who was his bodyguard, Hachimi M., was sentenced to ten years in prison for having “integrated Ahrar al-Cham” and a “al-nosra snipers unit”, but without period of security due to “the lack of persistence of its radicalization”. This 33 -year -old computer engineer said he left for Syria for humanitarian reasons and acted on behalf of Bassam Ayachi. On the contrary, the court estimated that it was “animated by an qaïdist ideology” (linked to al-Qaida) and that the “mobile” of the espionage was, in its case, “not credible”.

The lawyers of the two defendants did not wish to comment. They have the possibility of calling.

/Media reports.