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Iraq condemns eighth French ISIS member to death

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Men walk out of Baghdad's Karkh main appeals court building in the western sector of the Iraqi capital on May 29, 2019 where French militants accused of belonging to tDaesh are being tried. (AFP)
An Iraqi court on Sunday sentenced to death an eighth Frenchman for joining the ISIS group, rejecting his claims he was tortured into confessing.

Fodil Tahar Aouidate, 32, first appeared in court on May 27 but a judge delayed his trial to allow for a medical examination.

“The medical report shows that there are no signs of torture on his body,” the judge told the court.

Aouidate showed no reaction when the judge handed down his death sentence, according to an AFP journalist at the trial.

He was one of 11 French citizens and a Tunisian handed over to Iraqi authorities early this year by a US-backed force in Syria which expelled the militant group from its last bastion.

A Baghdad court had already handed capital punishments to seven of the French militant and the Tunisian over the past week and Aouidate will now join them on death row.

Interrogated for four months, Aouidate alleged he was beaten to “confess” to the charges levelled against him.

During his first hearing he showed marks on his back to the judge, who requested a medical examination and report.

Human Rights Watch on Friday accused Iraqi interrogators of “using a range of torture techniques” and condemned France’s “outsourcing” of trials of ISIS suspects to “abusive justice systems.”

France has long insisted its adult citizens captured in Iraq or Syria must face trial before local courts, while stressing its opposition to capital punishment.

Iraqi law provides for the death penalty for anyone joining a “terrorist group” — even those who did not take up arms.

Aouidate first went to Syria in 2013 and returned in 2014 with 22 members of his family to join ISIS, according to the French judiciary.

Authorities also linked him to Belgium’s Salafist movement including Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the presumed mastermind of the 2015 Paris attacks.

France convicted two of Aouidate’s sisters for “financing terrorism” for sending 15,000 euros to relatives in Syria.
Last Modified: Sunday، 02 June 2019 03:37 PM
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