Man faces eight year sentence for plotting terrorist attacks
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The Court of Cassation has upheld an October 2019 State Security Court ruling that sentenced a man to eight years in prison after convicting him of attempting to join terrorist groups and plotting attacks on liquor stores and night clubs in Amman and Zarqa in 2018.
The court declared the defendant, a supporter of the Daesh terror group, guilty of threatening to conduct terrorist activities against a liquor store in Zarqa and a night club in Amman and handed him the maximum sentence.
Court papers said the defendant adopted takfiri ideology in 2017 after following Daesh-related news on social media.
“The defendant believed that the Jordanian government did not apply the proper Sharia [Islamic law] and that Daesh did, so he started using social media to promote its ideology,” court transcripts said.
“The defendant also decided to plot terrorist attacks against nightclubs and liquor stores because they were serving alcohol to Muslims,” court documents stated.
However, the defendant was arrested in mid-2018 before he was able to carry out any of his alleged plans, court papers said.
The defendant, through his lawyer, contested the verdict, arguing that the SSC had failed to present any solid evidence that could implicate him.
The lawyer also argued that the SSC had relied on weak evidence and only the defendant’s confession when issuing its verdict, according to court documents.
The lawyer contested the interrogation process, arguing that “his client was subjected to duress while being held by security forces, and he was detained for over 48 hours before the interrogation started”, according to court documents.
“My client stayed way beyond the legal limit of 24 hours in detention before being questioned, which means that he was subjected to duress and pressure,” the court papers stated.
Meanwhile, the SSC’s attorney general asked the higher court to uphold the ruling, stating that the court had abided by the proper legal procedures when sentencing the defendant.
The higher court ruled that the SSC had followed the proper procedures when sentencing the defendant and that he deserved the verdict he had received.
“Several SSC prosecution witnesses who interrogated the defendant testified that he confessed willingly to his intentions to attack establishments in Amman and Zarqa,” the Court of Cassation ruled.
Therefore, “the interrogation proceedings by the SSC prosecution were accurate and fell within the law and the defendant deserves the punishment he received”, the higher court said.
The Court of Cassation judges were Mohammad Ibrahim, Naji Zu’bi, Yassin Abdullat, Majid Azab and Nayef Samarat.
Source: Jordan Times