Wednesday 21 November 2018

De-radicalisation expert report key to sentencing Isil fundraiser

Hassan Bal admitted providing funds for the use of Isil
Hassan Bal admitted providing funds for the use of Isil

Ralph Riegel

A report by a German de-radicalisation expert will be central to the sentencing of a young man who admitted providing funding from Ireland for the Isil terrorist organisation.

Hassan Bal (26) had his sentencing before Waterford Circuit Criminal Court adjourned as Judge Eugene O'Kelly was told an expert report on Bal wasn't ready.

Bal, who had an address at O'Connell Street in Waterford city, appeared in court wearing a dark suit, white shirt and dark tie.

He did not speak during the hearing.

Bal has been in custody since he was arrested by gardaí at his rented Waterford home in April 2017.

Last January he admitted unlawfully providing funds to the amount of €400, using an An Post/Western Union money transfer, in Waterford on October 2, 2015, to a Stevo Maksimovic in Brako, Bosnia-Herzegovina, knowing or intending the funds would be used for the benefit of Islamic State [Isil], also known as Daesh.

Bal also pleaded guilty to unlawfully attempting to collect or receive cash from a person known to him as Omar Abu Aziz by means of telephonic communications and an intermediary at an address at 2 Geron Way, London NW2 6GJ, knowing or suspecting the funds would similarly be used for Isil/Daesh.

Judge O'Kelly was told by Noel Whelan BL, for the State, that they were seeking an adjournment until May 30.

Mr Whelan said the State would then be asking for a sentencing date in June.

Judge O'Kelly was informed that a European expert on radicalisation, Dr Daniel Koelher of the German Institute of Radicalisation and De-Radicalisaion Studies (GIRDS), was currently conducting a special report on Bal.

Judge O'Kelly remanded Bal in ongoing custody until May 30.

The accused was born in England but moved to Ireland aged 12.

Irish Independent

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