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Iraq's Central Criminal Court Convicts Insurgents

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2, 2004 – Iraq's Central Criminal Court tried five cases last week, all related to activities directed against the multinational force and the security of Iraq.

All five trials resulted in convictions, a Multinational Force Iraq news release reported today.

One defendant was found guilty July 26 and sentenced to six months in prison for possession of explosives and a detonation device found buried near his home Dec. 27.

The court sentenced another defendant to a year in prison July 27 for possession of illegal weapons. An informant had told multinational forces that the defendant was selling weapons. A search of his home a year ago yielded mortar rounds and tubes, rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades, rifles and night-vision goggles.

In a second case tried July 27, a defendant was sentenced to 30 years in prison for possession of illegal weapons found in the trunk of his car at a checkpoint in April 2003. The defendant had 16 mortar rounds, as well as fuses and explosive charges. He claimed to be taking the weapons to the police station to turn them in.

On July 28, a defendant was tried on charges related to possession of improvised explosive device-making materials, including circuit boards with batteries, resistors, alarm clocks, surge protectors and other electrical supplies. A modified circuit board of the type found in his home was found connected to an IED shortly after his apprehension, and it was noted that IED activity in the area diminished considerably after he was detained about four months ago. The court sentenced him to 18 months in prison. He was found not guilty of a charge of possessing explosives.

Through July, 37 criminal cases involving 55 defendants had been tried before the Central Criminal Court of Iraq for activities directed against the multinational force and the security of Iraq. These trials resulted in 49 insurgents being convicted, with prison sentences ranging from six months to 30 years. Convicted defendants are turned over to the Iraqi Corrections Service for imprisonment.

The court has acquitted six people in four cases over the past year, due to lack of sufficient evidence to prove their crimes, officials said.

The Central Criminal Court was established in June 2003 as an Iraqi national court. All judges, prosecutors and defense counsel are Iraqi. Its mandate involves hearing cases that threaten the security and stability of Iraq.

(Courtesy of Multinational Force Iraq.)

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