KREMS AN DER DONAU, July 22 (RAPSI) - An Austrian court sentenced Russian national Magomed Zakriyev to five years in prison for supporting Islamic State militants, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday.
Judge Monika Fasching-Lattus ruled, based on a jury verdict, that the year Zakriyev spent in detention will be counted towards the prison term.
On Tuesday, during a 15-hour court session, the attorneys questioned four witnesses from Russia via video conference with Grozny. The defendant’s three fellow travelers from Chechnya presented their versions of a trip to Syria and their stay at an Ansar al-Sham Syrian opposition group camp. The testimonies were notably different from those given to the Russian law enforcement officials after the witnesses returned home.
The prosecutors built their case on data from Zakriyev’s two mobile phones that they found and restored, using special software, thousands of photos, videos and chats confirming his trips to Syria between July and December 2013, his links with Jihad, as well as teenage pornography content.
During the trial, earlier this year, the prosecutors added religious and military training at an extremist camp to the charges. Zakriyev was acquitted of these charges.
The defendant pleaded not guilty and claimed that he had travelled to the border between Turkey and Syria to “help people” at a refugee camp.
On Tuesday, a court in the city of Krems an der Donau in Austria gave another 18-year-old Chechen a suspended 10-month prison term for joining the Islamic State (ISIS) and justifying terrorist attacks.