By Conor Kane
A 26-year-old man has admitted providing funding from his Co Waterford base to terrorist organisation Islamic State.
Hassan Bal, formerly of O’Connell Street in Waterford but recently in custody since being arrested at his Waterford home in April of last year, pleaded guilty at Waterford Circuit Court today to two counts relating to the funding and attempting funding of Islamic State.
His case was adjourned by Judge Eugene O’Kelly to April 10, when a date will be fixed for the case to be finalised and Mr Bal to be sentenced.
The accused is originally from the UK and moved to Ireland with his family when he was 12.
He pleaded guilty to unlawfully providing €400 in funds, using an An Post/Western Union money transfer, on October 2 of 2015 to a Stevo Maksimovic in the city of Brako in Bosnia-Herzegovina, intending or knowing that the funds would be used in whole or in part for the benefit or purposes of the terrorist group known as Islamic State or DAESh.
He also pleaded guilty to unlawfully and wilfully attempting to collect or receive cash from a person known to him as Omar Abu Aziz, by means of telephonic communications and an intermediary at an address at 2 Geron Way, London NW2 6GJ, knowing that the funds would be used in whole or in part for the benefit or purposes of Islamic State. That offence was committed on October 23 of 2015.
His senior counsel, Giollaiosa O Lideadha, asked that a report be provided by a German-based expert on radicalisation Daniel Koelher, for the sentencing hearing. Mr Koehler should be given access to any relevant documents as well as garda interviews with Mr Bal, and should also be given access to Mr Bal in prison to carry out his investigation.
Judge O’Kelly agreed that a report be furnished by an independent expert on radicalisation.
The judge also ordered that the expert report be made available to the prosecution not less than a week before the sentencing hearing. This was agreed by Alex Owens SC, for the State.
Hassan Bal was remanded in custody, to appear again in court on April 10.