Another national was sentenced to death in Iraq on Wednesday for belonging to the Islamic State jihadist group.
He will join the six French jihadists already convicted in Iraq since last Sunday: 29-year-old Yassine Sakka was sentenced by a court in Baghdad on Wednesday.
The young man was arrested in Syria, then transferred to Iraq in January, along with ten suspected French jihadists. Accused of belonging to Daesh, Yassine Sakka acknowledged the facts. “I admit to having pledged allegiance [to IS], I was paid $ 70 a month,” he told the judge.
- “I apologize to the Iraqi state and the victims”
The young French returned on his journey, saying he called his brother to join him in Syria “between two glasses [of alcohol] and cocaine.” “In France, I was not interested in anything, neither in Palestine, nor in Iraq, nor in war, I was only thinking of making money.”
When the judge asked him where his brother was now, he said, “He blew himself up on the Iraqi border.” Yassine Sakka finally expressed some regret, before being sentenced to death. “I regret, I apologize to the Iraqi state and the victims”.
Earlier in the day, the same Iraqi court sentenced 24-year-old Tunisian Mohammed Berriri to death on the same charge of belonging to a terrorist group.
- A possibility of appeal proceedings
On Tuesday, France said it “multiplied the steps to avoid the death penalty” to the seven French nationals currently sentenced in Iraq. The latter now have 30 days to appeal the decision, and the French lawyer Leonard Lopez, one of the convicts, has already announced that he would.
Iraqi law provides that anyone who joins a “terrorist” organization, whether or not they have fought, is punishable by death. Baghdad has already sentenced more than 500 foreign members of the Islamic State, but none have so far been executed.