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3 men sentenced to 10 years in jail for plotting subversive acts

By Rana Husseini - Feb 21,2021 - Last updated at Feb 21,2021

AMMAN — The Court of Cassation has upheld an August State Security Court ruling, sentencing three men to 10 years in prison each after convicting them of plotting subversive acts in Zarqa in 2018.

The court declared the defendants, who are supporters of the Daesh extremist group, guilty of threatening to conduct terrorist activities against security agencies, police officers and spreading the Daesh ideology, and handed them the maximum sentence.

Court papers said the defendants, all residents of Zarqa, were “strong believers” of the Daesh terror group and its ideology and were following up on their news via social media.

"The three defendants were relatives and decided to support and spread the Daesh terror group’s ideologies because they believed that they applied the correct Sharia [Islamic law]," court transcripts said.

The defendants decided to target security personnel in Zarqa with a car rigged with explosives and surfed the Internet “looking for ways to manufacture detonators and the kind of material to use for their plot”.

However, the three defendants were arrested by security agencies in late 2018 and mid-2019 before they were able to carry out any of their plans, the court documents said.

The defendants, through their lawyers, contested the verdict, arguing that the SSC failed to present any solid evidence that could implicate them.

The lawyers also argued that the SSC relied on weak evidence and unreliable witnesses when issuing its verdict, according to court documents.

“Our clients were subjected to torture and duress to confess to crimes that they did not commit,” the lawyers argued.

Meanwhile, the SSC's general attorney had asked the higher court to uphold the ruling, stating that the court abided by the proper legal procedures when sentencing the defendants.

The higher court ruled that the SSC followed the proper procedures when sentencing the defendants and that they deserved the verdict they had received. 

"It was clear to the court that the defendants confessed willingly to their plans and that the SSC prosecution followed the proper interrogation procedures in this case," the higher court ruled.

 The Court of Cassation judges were Bassim Mubeidin, Majid Azab, Hayel Amr, Saeed Mugheid and Mohammad Khashashneh.

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