Former Prague Muslim leader sentenced on terror charges

Former Prague Muslim leader sentenced on terror charges

PRAGUE (AP) — A Czech court on Friday convicted a former Prague Muslim leader of being part of a terror group and financing terrorism, sentencing him to 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors said imam Samer Shehadeh helped his brother Omar and later his brother's wife, Fatima Hudkova, travel to Syria to join a terror group known as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.

Prosecutors also said Shehadeh sent unspecified sums of money to the group that seeks to replace the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad with an Islamic state.

Two other people in the same case were convicted of terror charges in absentia by Prague’s Municipal Court. One received a prison term of 11 years and the other person was given a term of six years.

Shehadeh didn’t deny the charges but said he didn’t consider his deeds a crime because he doesn’t recognize the Syrian government and doesn’t consider the group terrorist.

Shehadeh can still appeal the verdict.

The members of Prague’s Muslim community distanced themselves from his activities.