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9 June 2004
BRUSSELS – Four men condemned in Belgium in connection with terror-related offences on Wednesday failed in a bid to have their sentences reduced.
A Brussels court on Wednesday found that one of the men, Tarek Maaroufi, should actually serve a longer sentence than he had originally received and increased the length of time he should spend in prison from six to seven years.
Maaroufi was found guilty of helping to acquire forged papers and of recruiting fighters to be trained at a camp in Afghanistan run by the al-Qaeda network.
He was also found guilty of trying to organise a bomb attack against a Belgian/American army base in Flanders.
A second man, Mohamad Boulayon, also saw his sentence increased, this time from two to three years.
Nizar Trabelsi, a former Tunisian footballer who was condemned in connection with the same planned bombing as Maaroufi, saw his 10-year sentence confirmed by the court.
His accomplice Abdelkrim El-Haddouti also had his sentence confirmed.
El-Haddouti was condemned to five years in prison for providing his accomplices with bomb-making material.
Two other men appealing against their sentences at the Brussels court were successful however.
Abdelhouaid Aberkan saw his prison term reduced from three to two years while Mouloud Aiter's four-year term reduced to three years.
Belgian news agency Belga said Aberkan had provided investigators with information after his capture.
All of the men have the right to appeal against Wednesday's rulings.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news
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