Man who helped to fund IS will be sentenced in June

A man who admitted providing funding to the terrorist organisation Islamic State (IS) is to be sentenced in June.

Hassan Bal, aged 26, of O’Connell St, Waterford, pleaded guilty earlier this year to two terrorist-related offences and was remanded in custody in January.

He was brought back before Waterford Circuit Court on Tuesday and Judge Eugene O’Kelly was told that a report from an expert on radicalisation, requested by the defence, is not ready. However, it should be finalised by the time the current court sessions are over in June.

Noel Whelan, BL, prosecuting, asked that the case be adjourned to May 30, with a view to fixing a date in June for sentencing. Judge O’Kelly agreed to this request on consent by Conor Roberts BL, defending. He remanded Bal in continuing custody until May 30, when a sentencing date will be set.

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, 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 IS.

He also pleaded guilty to communicating by phone with an intermediary in London, on October 23, 2015, to collect or receive cash for IS 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 of imprisonment.

Bal was in court on Tuesday for the brief hearing, wearing a dark suit, dark tie, and white shirt, but was not called upon to speak. He is originally from Britain and moved to Ireland, with his family, when he was aged 12. He lived initially in Wexford and moved to Waterford in 2007. He holds an Irish passport and was training to be an electrician, at the time of his arrest in April last year.

In January, his defence team asked for a report to be carried out by Daniel Koelher of the German Institute of Radicalisation and De-Radicalisation Studies. This report, it was heard in January, should ask why Bal became “associated with such activities” and if he has since been deradicalised. They also asked for Dr Koelher to be given access in prison to Mr Bal for the purposes of his investigation and that he should be available to give evidence at the sentencing hearing.


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