France: Lahmer former detainee at Guantanamo heavily sentenced

Saber Lahmar is an Algerian, who had been involved in a case accusing him of inciting several people to leave for jihad. Having spent a long period in the famous Guantanamo prison, he was finally welcomed to France in 2009 after claiming his innocence.

The Algerian then operated in Bordeaux in a clandestine prayer room then for Friday prayers in the mosque of Saint-André-de-Cubzac (Gironde). The various people who were part of the community in New Aquitaine quickly considered him a “religious guide”.
He would have taken advantage of his position and his influence, and preached in favor of “departures for Syria and Iraq”. Indeed, the court had part of various recordings, conversations with people who had already left for the area or testimonies from relatives, in this sense.

He was tried by a court in Paris, more precisely the 16th chamber of the Paris Criminal Court, which specializes in terrorism. She judged the actions and words of Saber Lahmer as reprehensible, because he played an “active role” in several departures in the zone.

He was sentenced this Friday to ten years in prison by the same court, in addition to a permanent ban from French territory. In addition, the magistrates concerned also sentenced him to a period of security of both.

Saber Lahmar still claims his innocence

Despite the numerous pieces of evidence held against him, the condemned man maintained his innocence throughout the hearing. Indeed, he rejected the charges and his lawyers explained that he was a victim of his own success and influence, affirming that “under the pretext that he had a certain aura due to his Islamic culture, he is condemned without proof, for having facilitated the departure of a family to the Iraqi-Syrian zone when he objectively had no power to do so”. Christian Blazy and Alix de Villanove, in charge of his defense even revealed that Saber Lahmar intended to appeal.

But who is Saber Lahmar?

Saber Lahmar was born and raised in an Islamic family in Constantine, Algeria. He also graduated from the Islamic University of Madinah. Afterwards, he worked for the Saudi High Commission for the Relief of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Note that this same organization was closed in 2001 for its alleged support for Islamist terrorism.

The Algerian in 2022, while he was in Bosnia and Herzegovina and was cleared by the Bosnian Supreme Court. He was taken to Guantanamo on January 21, 2002 to be held in extrajudicial detention in the US Guantanamo detention camps in Cuba. He was then cleared and released in 2009, to finally be welcomed in France.

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