On Thursday morning at the Brussels court of appeal, the federal Prosecutor Jean-Marc Trigaux requested similar sentences to those requested by the Court of First Instance. This was in the case of the Somalian terrorist group Al-Shabab. He requested 20 years in prison for Rachid Benomari, said to be the “brains” behind the jihadist section of Al-Shabab militants. He requested 5 years for Mohamed Saïd and Mustapha Bouyahbaren. He requested at least 5 years for Hassan Kafi, the Molenbeek hairdresser, who was sentenced to 3 years at the Court of First Instance. In October, after appealing their convictions by default, Rachid Benomari was sentenced to 18 years in prison, Mohamed Saïd to 5 years in prison, and Mustapha Bouyahbaren to 5 years in prison, suspended for sentences of more than 37 months.
During the opening of the trial at the Brussels Court of appeal last Friday, Rachid Benomari denied being the leader of a terrorist cell. The federal Prosecutor Jean-Marc Trigaux reminded the jury on Thursday morning that it only needed to be proved he had a central role for him to be convicted as a terrorist leader. Not necessarily that he was at the top of the hierarchy. He underlined the fact that Benomari created the cell himself. He took the group to Somalia, acted as leader there and was involved in the recruitment of young jihadists. “The elite I am part of has a clear and transparent goal: impose Allah’s power on the Earth through Sharia law. A Sharia that has nothing in common with democracy”, he said in a propaganda text shown by the federal Prosecutor.
The trial will continue on Friday morning and all day on the 26th of March, as well as the morning of the 27th.
Sarah Johansson (Source: Belga)