Awso Peshdary gets 14 years in prison for recruiting jihadist John Maguire
His trial was interrupted there nearly five years before he pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges.
Awso Peshdary in the years leading up to his 2015 arrest in Ottawa.
In Ottawa, terrorist Awso Peshdary was sentenced Thursday to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty earlier in the day to four terrorism-related charges. The 33-year-old was apprehended in 2015 by the RCMP for facilitating terrorist activities on behalf of the Islamic State armed group in Syria.
Awso Peshdary notably recruited renowned jihadist John Maguire in 2013, who died two years later in Syria.
Maguire is the Canadian student who rose to prominence in an Islamic State armed group propaganda video in which he made threats against Canada.
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Canadian John Maguire left Canada in 2013 after being recruited by Awso Peshdary.
Awso Peshdary's trial was halted indefinitely in June 2018 in Ottawa because of a #x27;an alleged procedural defect in the search warrant of the Canadian Intelligence and Security Service, which had been introduced into evidence by the Crown.
A motion on this matter is still before the Federal Court. Evidence is still under a publication ban in this case.
Terrorism: Awso Peshdary will remain incarcerated until further notice
Awso Peshdary, who was 28 at the time, was accused of recruiting Canadians to fight in Syria alongside ISIS.
He was still imprisoned at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Center since his arrest in 2015. His defense had filed a motion to resolve the impasse with his client's admission of guilt.
In pleading guilty, Peshdary read a statement to the court saying he takes full responsibility for his crimes and understands the repercussions of its actions on the community. I failed as a Muslim by adopting values that are un-Islamic, he says.
He adds that the eight years he spent in prison made him reflect on his radical ideas and he hopes his case will serve as a lesson to other young people, who would adopt the same ideology. extremist.
An undated photo of Awso Peshdary
His attorney, Solomon Friedman, has asked for a 14-year sentence.
Mr. Friedman explains that his client is completely de-radicalized and no longer poses a danger to the public. He adds, with a psychiatric report in support, that his risk of recidivism is very low.
“My client is ashamed and he feels humiliated by what he has done, but, as his family explained in letters of support, his detention has completely transformed him and he is not not the same man anymore. »
— Solomon Friedman, defense attorney
Lawyer adds that Awso Peshdary was mixed up and was easily indoctrinated by the jihadist propaganda and a radical imam from Yemen. He was impressionable and easy young prey, he says.
He was sold to jihad, obsessed with conspiratorial ideas and a violent ideology, but now the shroud that veiled his spirit no longer exists, he says citing the individual's family.
Awso Peshdary's mother and sisters leave Ottawa courthouse after his appearance on February 9, 2015.
The lawyer points out that his client has completed all the education and social reintegration programs available in detention, not to mention courses on personal development.
He eventually wants to be a father to his son when he gets out of prison, he says.
Mr. x27;Awso Peshdary did not grow up in a family of extremists and that his family of Kurdish origin took refuge in Canada as a child.
He acknowledges that his client's behavior began to change as a teenager growing up with his three sisters. His family is still ashamed of him, despite their support, he says.
The lawyer assures, however, that the individual now accepts all other religions. One of his sisters married a Buddhist, another a Christian and the third is an atheist, he said.
Awso Peshdary at his first appearance on February 4, 2015 at the Ottawa courthouse a few days after his arrest.
Me Friedman adds that his client was very moved by the reactions of Canadians after the shooting of Alexandre Bissonnette in a Quebec mosque.
His family writes in a report that the RCMP saved Awso's life and that he has a better understanding of Islam today and Canada's democratic values than he did. had been rejected at the time.
The lawyer points out that his client is now ready to contribute to his society by helping those who would deviate from the right path.
He is still a devout believer, but his idea of Islam is much more nuanced and he has taken up the study of Sufism [a mystical current of Islam, Editor's note], he underlines.
The lawyer concludes that Awso Peshdary is weaned and has become lucid again.
Awso Peshdary delivers a speech to the Muslim Students Association of Algonquin College in 2014 in Ottawa.
The defense further asked the judge to recommend the transfer of his client to St. Lawrence Valley Correctional Treatment Center near Brockville, because he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Crown did not oppose the defense motion, as it is a joint position. But prosecutor Roderick Sonley insisted on reading the statement about the impact John Maguire's death had on the jihadist's family.
Ms Maguire explains that Awso Peshdary took advantage of [her] son while he was at university and had no intention of becoming a jihadist. Since John's death, I've aged 100 years all of a sudden, I'm angry, she says.
She adds that time does not heals nothing contrary to the proverb, that she lives isolated from her family and that she has no choice to live with the death of her son.
In her sentencing, Judge Julianne Parfett says a 14-year sentence subject to three years' probation is appropriate and meets the fundamental principles of denunciation and of deterrence.
She explains that she took into account the accused's young age at the time, his lack of a criminal record, his acknowledgment of guilt and the psychiatric report which is favorable to him.
“I know your trial was long and arduous, but the evidence in this case is horrific; a first part of your life is coming to an end, another is about to begin, I wish you good luck. ”
— Julianne Parfett, Justice of the Superior Court of Ontario
In addition to the sentence and the three-year probation, the judge imposed several conditions on him.< /p>
Judge Parfett imposed numerous conditions on terrorist Awso Peshdary.
Awso Peshdary can in no way be associated or communicate with violent individuals or radical ideas.
He may not join youth groups or associations without the permission of his probation officer and for the sole purpose of deradicalizing them.
He must continue his deradicalization efforts in detention and when he will be out of jail. He can be sent to the Lawrence Valley Center by then if the parole board accepts the recommendation.
He can only possess electronic devices for a educational or professional use. The passwords for his devices will also have to be revealed to his approval officer for the sake of surveillance.
He will finally never be able to possess firearms .
By virtue of the time Awso Peshdary has spent in pre-trial detention, he will only have 21 months left to serve in prison.
Video of jihadists: the SQ urges the media to act with discernment