Antwerp: Abou Jahjah acquitted of riot charges

The court of appeal in Antwerp has acquitted Dyab Abou Jahjah, the former leader of the Arab European League and his companion Ahmed Azzuz.

Abou Jahjah and Ahmed Azzuz, two leading figures of the AEL, had been sentenced to one year in prison for incitement to riot in December last year.

The sentence was handed down on charges relating to incitement to riot. The riots occurred in the northern port city of Antwerp in 2002, after a Moroccan Islam teacher was killed by a mentally unstable assailant.

During the riots by youngsters belonging to the ethnic minorities cars and shops were damaged. Police officers and members of the public were attacked.

The court last year ruled that Abou Jahjah and Azzuz possessed great moral authority. They were in a position to quieten the mob, but did not do so, the court argued. In contrast they incited the youngsters to commit acts of vandalism. A third man was acquitted.

"No proof that Abou Jahjah was responsible for the riots"

Abou Jahjah said that  his conviction was "a scandal for democracy" and announced he would appeal against his sentence.

The court of appeal in Antwerp has now stated that there is no proof that Abou Jahjah and his Azzuz are responsible for the riots.

Source: Expatica (English)

No comments: