Teen accused of terrorism: a “child soldier victim of propaganda,” according to defense

avocat-defense-tiago-muriasThe young Montrealers aged 15 accused of terrorism-related crimes is a “foul and hateful propaganda victim of an ideology morticide”.

If the young person had gone to fight in Syria, he should be considered a child soldier, not as a terrorist.

That at least is the defense position expressed on Wednesday when his argument at trial of 16 year old (15 when the alleged crimes) in the Youth Division of the Court of Quebec in Montreal.

Jihadi Salafism is a “nauseating ideology that targets vulnerable children in search of an identity,” insisted the lawyer of the adolescent, Me Tiago Murias.

The defense admits that the accused “an orthodox view of Islam”; the “indefensible positions in a free and democratic society”. However, “adolescents may think that everyone here is an apostate, it is not a crime,” pleaded Mr. Murias.

“His political positions, that is one thing. The offenses alleged against him, ç’en is another, “insisted the young lawyer.

The defense compared the accused to a “child soldier” involved in an armed conflict. However, according to international treaties of the UN on the issue, the child soldier, even voluntarily, is a victim and can not be accused of war crimes, argued the defense counsel.

“No one will consider an African child soldier, Congo, for example, as a terrorist. (…) Whether in Syria and Congo, we speak of children recruited by armed groups in armed conflict. Why would they not entitled to the same protection? “Asked Mr. Murias.

In the eyes of defense, except for “legitimate concerns” of parents and propaganda “accessible to all on the Internet” downloaded to his computer, the prosecution has no evidence that the accused wanted to go do jihad in Syria.

“His intention is to help the Syrian people to get rid of the regime of Bashar al-Assad. (…) What really interests the teenager, it is the suffering of Muslims, “said his lawyer. The teenager was convinced that it was his Islamic duty to go “help” in Syria, said the defense lawyer.

True that the young person has committed a robbery, but nothing proves that he has committed for the benefit of a terrorist organization, according to his lawyer.

Recall that October 11, 2014, the teenager flew a convenience store at knifepoint. Questioned by police, the accused then called the fruit of his flight “spoils of war”, as Canada “killing his brothers and sisters (Muslims) in Afghanistan and Iraq. Earlier this year, the teenager also tried to buy a plane ticket “-Go simple” to Turkey, but the bank blocked the transaction.

The teenager, whose identity is struck by a publication ban, is suspected of committing a robbery “for the benefit or at the direction” of a terrorist organization in addition to wanting to leave Canada to participate “the activities of a terrorist group abroad” or the Islamic State.

The teenager had “unsavory acquaintances.” He knew the bomber of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Martin Couture-roll, admitted the defense. “The teenager sharing a vision with Mr. Couture-roll, but the evidence stops there, told me Murias. The accused did not know what Couture-roller intended to do (20 October 2014). ”

The defense will continue his argument this afternoon.

Yesterday, the prosecution argued for its part that there was no doubt that the teenager wanted to fly to Syria to fight alongside the Islamic State. The trial is before Judge Dominique Wilhelmy’s.

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