Man to be sentenced next month for funding Islamic State

Hassan Bal (26) from Waterford pleaded guilty to two terrorist-related offences

Hassan Bal (26), formerly of O’Connell Street, Waterford, pleaded guilty earlier this year to two terrorist-related offences

Hassan Bal (26), formerly of O’Connell Street, Waterford, pleaded guilty earlier this year to two terrorist-related offences

 

Sentencing of a man who has admitted providing funding to international terrorist organisation Islamic State is due to take place in late June.

Hassan Bal (26), formerly of O’Connell Street, Waterford, pleaded guilty earlier this year to two terrorist-related offences and was remanded in custody in January.

Waterford Circuit Court heard on Wednesday that a report by an expert on radicalisation, requested by Mr Bal’s defence team, should be ready before the sentencing date on June 28th and will be furnished to the State’s legal officers in time for the next hearing.

Hassan Bal pleaded guilty in January to unlawfully transferring €400 by means of an An Post/Western Union transaction to a Stevo Maksimovic in the Bosnian city of Brako on October 2nd, 2015.

This was done with him intending or knowing that the money would be used in whole or in part for the benefit of the terrorist group, Islamic State.

He also pleaded guilty to communicating by phone with an intermediary in London on October 23rd, 2015, in an attempt to collect or receive cash for Islamic State, from a person known to him as Omar Abu Azid, at an address at Geron Way, London.

The charges are contrary to Section 13 of the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act of 2005. The maximum sentence is 20 years imprisonment.

His lawyers asked in January for a report to be prepared by Dr Daniel Koelher of the German Institute of Radicalisation and De-Radicalisation Studies, to try and establish why the accused became “associated with such activities” and if he has been de-radicalised since the offences committed in October of 2015.

Dr Koelher was given permission by the court to speak to Mr Bal in prison, for the purposes of his report, and is expected to be available to give evidence when the sentencing hearing takes place in June.

Noel Whelan BL, prosecuting, told the court the defence was “confident” the report will be complete before June 28th.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly said the report is to be furnished to the State.

“We have asked them and they said they will give it to us,” Mr Whelan said.

Originally from the UK, the accused moved to Ireland with his family when he was 12, initially living in Wexford before moving to Waterford city in 2007. He holds an Irish passport and was training to be an electrician at the time of his arrest in April last year.

Judge O’Kelly adjourned the case until June 28, remanding Hassan Bal in custody until then. The sentencing hearing is expected to take at least half a day.