Saja al-Dulaimi, ex-wife of ISIS (Daesh) chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was brought before Lebanon’s Military Court Monday, along with Palestinian Louay Darwish al-Masri, who is accused of forging her documents. But the session was postponed as Dulaimi does not yet have a defense attorney assigned to her case.
Dulaimi was brought before the court on charges of belonging to an armed terrorist organization with the intent of carrying out a terrorist attack. Masri faces charges for forging the documents of Dulaimi and her children, providing them with new names and nationalities.
Dulaimi and her Palestinian husband, Kamal Khalaf, were arrested in December. Dulaimi was detained in north Lebanon after she was found to be carrying a fake passport, according to officials.
Khalaf, who is being detained by General Security on similar charges, did not appear before the court.
Dulaimi entered the court carrying her 3-week-old baby, to whom she gave birth in prison.
But the prosecution was unable to question her, as no defense attorney has been assigned to her case. This prompted the court to send a memo to the Bar Association to provide Dulaimi with a lawyer. The trial is now set to resume on Nov. 18.
When it was announced that the proceedings would be postponed, Dulaimi began to cry, begging the court to speed up her trial.
“I haven’t committed any offense,” she said. “My only crime is that I entered Lebanon as a refugee and I married a [man] called Hisham Mohammad six years ago.” A judicial source explained that Dulaimi could be implying that this was Baghdadi’s real name.
“Our marriage didn’t last because he divorced me, and I didn’t know anything about his affiliations. In prison they informed me that a DNA test proved I was married to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”
Dulaimi told the court there was no reason for her to remain in prison as she had committed no crime, and petitioned the court for relief on behalf of her young children.
“I have four children, the oldest is 6 years old, and they’ve been with me in General Security’s underground prison for eight months.”
“We understand your situation. This the first time I am learning that your children are with you in the prison, and this isn’t permissible,” responded Maj. Gen. Khalil Ibrahim, head of Lebanon’s Military Court.
Ibrahim asked the representative of the public prosecutor, Judge Dani al-Zeani, to take the necessary measures to remove the children from the prison. Zeani pledged to arrange the transfer of the children to a social welfare institution that can take care of them.
By Youssef Diab
Copyright © 2020, The Daily Star. All rights reserved.