Prison guards guilty of mistreating infamous jihadist recruiter in Belgium
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Prison guards guilty of mistreating infamous jihadist recruiter in Belgium

Khalid Zerkani was convicted to 15 years in prison for running a radicalisation network out of Brussels. © Belga

Two prison guards have been found guilty of mistreating an infamous jihadist preacher accused of “perverting” a generation following his conviction for running a large radicalisation network in Brussels.

The two guards were accused of violently handling Khalid Zerkani, throwing him inside his cell and causing his head to bang against concrete, Bruzz reports.

Zerkani was convicted to 15 years in prison for operating a criminal network aimed at radicalising teens in Brussels and recruiting them as fighters for the Islamic State terror group in Syria, with prosecutors in the case referring to him as one of the IS’ main recruiters in Belgium and accusing him of “perverting a whole generation.”

The events in question took place after Zerkani’s transfer to the Saint-Gilles prison in 2016, with the guards referring to it as an accident which ensued as they attempted to contain the prisoner.

Zerkani is said to have become upset about not being allowed to bring a kettle into his cell, with the guards resorting to carrying him into his confinement.

After bringing him to his cell, the guards are said to have picked him back up and thrusting his head against the concrete support of his mattress, Het Niewusblad reports.

While the court found the guards guilty, it delivered no punishment, citing the four-year period that had elapsed since the incident took place.

The court also acquitted a third prison guard who was present and witnessed the scene unfold.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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