Sentencing of a man who has admitted providing funding to international terrorist organisation Islamic State is due to be completed in late June.
Twenty-six year-old Hassan Bal formerly of O’Connell Street, Waterford, pleaded guilty earlier this year to two terrorist-related offences and was remanded in custody in January.
Waterford Circuit Court heard today that a report by an expert on radicalisation, requested by Mr Bal’s defence team, should be ready before the sentencing date on June 28 and will be furnished to the State’s legal officers in time for the next hearing.
Hassan Bal pleaded guilty in January to unlawfully transferring €400 by means of an An Post/Western Union transaction to a Stevo Maksimovic in the Bosnian city of Brako on October 2 of 2015.
This was done with him intending or knowing that the money would be used in whole or in part for the benefit of the terrorist group, Islamic State.
He also pleaded guilty to communicating by phone with an intermediary in London on October 23rd 2015, in an attempt to collect or receive cash for Islamic State, from a person known to him as Omar Abu Azid, at an address at Geron Way, London.
The charges are contrary to Section 13 of the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act of 2005. The maximum sentence is 20 years imprisonment.
His lawyers asked in January for a report to be prepared by Dr Daniel Koelher of the German Institute of Radicalisation and De-Radicalisation Studies, to try and establish why the accused became “associated with such activities” and if he has been de-radicalised since the offences committed in October of 2015.
Dr Koelher was given permission by the court to speak to Mr Bal in prison, for the purposes of his report, and is expected to be available to give evidence when the sentencing hearing takes place in June.
Noel Whelan BL, prosecuting, told the court on Wednesday that the defence was “confident” that the report will be complete before June 28.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly adjourned the case until June 28, remanding Hassan Bal in custody until then. The sentencing hearing is expected to take at least half a day.