Islamic State (IS) terrorist and former head of Islamic radical group Sharia4Belgium, Hicham Chaib, was sentenced to life in prison in absentia and has been stripped of his Belgian nationality.
After one hour of deliberation by the Antwerp Assize Court – the trial court that tries the most serious crimes in the Belgian judicial system – he received a life sentence for a terrorist murder in Syria and has also been sentenced to 15 years in prison.
“Chaib rejects our fundamental values and has always been a supporter of jihadist Salafism. He poses a threat to public safety. There have been no signs of remorse or repentance. Nor that he would have repented or distanced himself from the ideology of IS. Strong punishment is called for,” the court said, according to reports from De Morgen.
However, the 40-year-old Chaib has been missing for years, and although he has been declared dead several times, hard proof of this is lacking. This means the verdict was given without the presence of a perpetrator, or a body.
Several days following the 2016 terrorist attacks in Belgium, an IS video surfaced in which Chaib glorified the attacks, threatened more terror, and finally shot an unidentified prisoner in an orange suit, once in the back of the head, once in the back, which he has now been sentenced to life in prison for.
He received an additional punishment after the court found Chaib guilty of participating in IS activities, and of threatening to commit terrorist murder.
Previously, Chaib, who already has a full criminal record, was given a year in prison for racism and xenophobia in 2013, and in 2015, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison at the great Sharia4Belgium trial.