Radical Lebanon cleric Omar Bakri sentenced to life in jail

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Radical Islamic preacher Omar Bakri has been sentenced to life in prison by a Lebanese military court on a host of charges, including inciting murder and belonging to an armed faction, a judicial official said Friday.

The Syrian-born Bakri, who holds Lebanese nationality and lives in the Lebanese northern port city of Tripoli, was not in the court when the sentence was read.

He confirmed the verdict to AFP but claimed he is innocent.

"I have 15 days to appeal the verdict," Bakri said, adding that he would "not spend one day in prison."

Bakri lived in Britain for 20 years before being banned from returning there in 2005 after the authorities deemed his presence "not conducive to the public good."

He notably praised the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, describing the hijackers as the "magnificent 19."

© 2010 AFP

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