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    ECHR vindicates terrorist convicted in Belgium


    The ECHR has vindicated Abdallah O,a terrorist convicted in Belgium who was being returned to Morocco. As De Tijd and the Mediahuis newspapers reported on Wednesday, the Belgian state must pay him 6,500 euros in compensation. The Cour d’Appel de Bruxelles (Brussels Court of Appeal) had sentenced Abdallah O. to six years in prison on January 19th, 2007. He was suspected of belonging to a local terrorist cell in Maaseik which was part of the Groupe Islamique Combattante Marocain, a Moroccan terrorist group responsible for an attack on a synagogue in Casablanca twelve years before.

    Morocco had requested its national’s extradition to which Belgium had acceded. However, Abdallah O. and his lawyers resolutely opposed it, arguing that, as he was a convicted terrorist, he would most likely be tortured.

    The case was brought before the ECHR, which finally vindicated Abdallah O. The Court acknowledged the extradition treaty currently in force between Morocco and Belgium. However, it held that there was indeed a risk that, as a convicted man he would be ill-treated in Morocco.

    Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)