Former Prague imam rejects terrorist label, legitimacy of Czech courts

Former Prague imam Samer Shehadeh admitted on Tuesday that he had helped his brother and sister-in-law travel to Syria to join a the organisation Jabhat Fatah as-Sham (Conquest of Syria).

However, Shehadeh said he does not consider it a criminal act because he does not recognise the Syrian government or perceive Jabhat Fatah as-Sham as terrorists. He also said any Czech courts' decision is irrelevant to him as they do not follow Islamic sharia law.

The former imam’s brother and sister-in-law are also defendants in the case. Czech intelligence services began investigating the trio in 2016. Shehadeh is also accused of using charity money to support terrorism financially.

Author: Brian Kenety