Al Qaeda trial in Spain comes to a close with 18 sentenced to prison
Syrian Al-Qaeda member Imadeddine Barakat Yarkas was sentenced to 27 years in jail by the Spanish court in Madrid for conspiring to commit murder in the September 11 attacks which killed nearly 3,000 people. 17 other people, including an Al Jazeera reporter, were also convicted in the trial.
The ruling marks the end of the biggest trial to date in Europe involving terrorism.
The court found Al Jazeera reporter Tayssir Allouni guilty of collaboration with Al Qaeda by acting as a financial courier; Allouni was sentenced to seven years in prison, according to <i>The Daily Star</i>.
Allouni, who insisted on his innocence, had interviewed Osama bin Laden following the attacks.
Al Jazeera spokesmen expressed dismay at the verdict, saying that it was a "black day" for the Spanish court.
Jean-Francois Julliard of Reporters Without Borders said the verdict "sets a dangerous precedent, particularly for anyone who seeks to interview bin Laden in the future."
The verdict said Allouni had "collaborated ... in determined fashion" with Al-Qaeda and used his position to pass information to and from members of the organization.