The suspected ring-leader of a 35-member extremist group in Morocco has been handed a life sentence by a court in the country. The Moroccan-born Belgian national denies the charges.
Abdelkader Belliraj’s lawyer says he will appeal the decision. “What we expect is that this court will be more fair, take the conditions of the accused into consideration and base its verdict on concrete facts,” he said. Belliraj’s trial began last October. The 50-year-old also stands accused of six murders in the 1980s and 1990s in Belgium, of arms smuggling into Morocco and of threatening state security. The alleged members of his group were handed down sentences of up to 30 years in jail.