France jails nine over fundraising for Uzbek terrorists
A court in Paris has jailed nine people for raising money for an al-Qaeda linked Uzbek militant group which is accused of numerous attacks.
Turkish-Dutch national Irfan Demirtas, the ringleader of the operation, was recieved an eight-year sentence while the others received up to three years. A tenth man was acquitted.
Demirtas was also fined 20,000 euros and banned from French territory upon completion of his sentence.
Operating in eastern France, the network managed to send 300,000 euros to Pakistan or Afghanistan. It was broken up four years ago by French, German and Dutch police.
The nine were convicted of raising funds for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), which seeks to overthrow the country's president, Islam Karimov.
The court heard that Demirtas had met former IMU leader Tahir Iouldache,who was killed in 2009, on several occasions.
At the trial, defense lawyers sought to argue that the money raised had been used for humanitarian purposes.
Posted by: ryuge 2013-01-09