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Friday, June 2, 2023

French jihadist pioneer Kevin Guiavarch sentenced to 14 years in prison on appeal

Once is not custom, the special assize court of Paris judging on appeal was more lenient than the prosecution. This Friday, she confirmed the judgment rendered at first instance against THE “repentant” Kevin Guiavarch. This French pioneer of jihadism was thus sentenced to 14 years in prison, a sentence accompanied by a two-thirds security period.

His wife Salma O. was sentenced to six years in prison. A sentence that she can accomplish at home under an electronic bracelet, with a socio-judicial follow-up of five years.

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These sentences were deemed insufficient by the National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor’s Office (Pnat), which had appealed to review their duration. Until the special assize court of Paris confirms them this Friday. During his requisitions, the Advocate General had claimed 18 years’ imprisonment with a two-thirds security period against Kevin Guiavarch and 12 years of imprisonment against his wife with a socio-judicial follow-up of five years. “The guilt of the accused is no longer in debate today”he pleaded.

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“Neither a fanatic, nor an enlightened one”

The two accused were not part of the “elite soldiers” of the Islamic State organization, said the Advocate General, adding that they had not participated in abuses attributed to the jihadist organization. Kevin Guiavarch is not “neither a fanatic, nor an enlightened one”he still admitted but “it is the sentence that marks the seriousness of the acts committed”.

Having pledged allegiance to IS in June 2013, Kevin Guiavarch claimed to have been only “stretcher-bearer” Or ” male nurse “. The 30-year-old claims to have only participated in checkpoint surveillance even though he posted photos of him and Salma in fatigues and arms on Facebook, with a martyr’s headband on his forehead.

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In delivering its verdict, the Special Assize Court of Appeal hailed Salma O.’s efforts to reintegrate into society. “Give me back the chance you gave me by allowing me to get back to work and my job as a mother”asked Salma O. shortly before the deliberation.

Attracted by “polygamy permitted by Islam”

Kevin Guiavarch, 30, and Salma O., 41, were among the first French to join Syria in early 2013 even before the official birth of the Islamic State (IS) organization. Arrived on the spot, the man had brought from France three young women, sometimes with their children, to marry them. “Polygamy permitted by Islam” was one of the reasons for his engagement, he admitted to the court.

In 2016, Kevin Guiavarch left Syria with his extended family and their six children. Arrested in Türkiye then handed over to the French authorities, he has been imprisoned since 2017. This departure from Syria was not “not an awareness of what was” IS, analyzed the Advocate General, but fell under “opportunism” as the organization suffered setbacks on the pitch.

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