Italian female Islamic State convert sentenced

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Milan (Italy), Dec 19 (IANS/AKI) A court here on Monday handed prison sentences, in absentia, to an Italian woman and her Albanian husband for travelling to Syria to join the Islamic State jihadist group.

The court sentenced Maria Giulia Sergio for nine years jail and her husband Aldo Kobuzi for ten years in what is the first case involving foreign fighters inside the war zone.

The couple is believed to be in Syria after travelling there in early 2015. They were sentenced to prison in absentia, as were Kobuzi’s mother and sister, and a woman named Bushra Haik.

Haik was jailed for nine years for converting Sergio and her sister to radical Islam, while Kobuzi’s mother Donica Coku and his sister Seriola Kobuzi each got eight years. A Canadian citizen, Haik is believed to be in Saudi Arabia, while Coku and Kobuzi are thought to be in Syria.

The court sentenced Sergio’s father, Sergio Sergio to four years in prison for the lesser charge of organising the jihadist journeys. He was arrested in mid-2015.

Sergio cut off relations with his daughters and never wanted to travel to Syria and fight, according to his lawyer, Erika Galati, who said he did not deserve the jail term.

“He just wanted to keep the family together and for this reason allowed himself to be swayed by his daughters,” Galati said.

Sergio’s other daughter Marianna Sergio was jailed earlier this year after a fast-track trial.

–IANS/AKI

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