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French court sentences sister of IS group propagandist to nine years

A woman installs flowers at a commemorative plaque near Le Carillon bar and Le Petit Cambodge restaurant in Paris before a ceremony marking the third anniversary of the Paris attacks of November 2015 in which 130 people were killed, on November 13, 2018.
A woman installs flowers at a commemorative plaque near Le Carillon bar and Le Petit Cambodge restaurant in Paris before a ceremony marking the third anniversary of the Paris attacks of November 2015 in which 130 people were killed, on November 13, 2018. Benoit Tessier/Pool/File Photo/REUTERS

A French court on Wednesday sentenced Anne Diana Clain, whose brother was a notorious propagandist for the Islamic State group, to nine years in prison for terrorist association.

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Paris's criminal courts handed down the sentence to Clain, 44, for having attempted between 2015 and 2016 to head to conflict-ravaged Syria with her husband and four children to join her brothers Fabien and Jean-Michel Clain.

Fabien Clain has been identified as the voice in an audio recording claiming responsibility for the 2015 Paris attacks which killed 130 people and warning that they were just "the beginning of the storm". His brother has also been accused of being an IS group propagandist in Syria.

The court also found Clain's husband Mohamed Amri, a 58-year-old Tunisian, guilty and handed him a 10-year sentence as presiding judge Isabelle Prévost-Desprez highlighted the couple's determination to reach Syria.

"That project failed but not because you wanted it to -- you never gave up on [the idea] of your own volition," she said, recalling how Anne Clain's attempt to reach Syria failed when the convert to Islam was arrested at the Turkish border in July 2016.

"You took your children off on a deadly trip as far as your arrest in Turkey on the Syrian border," said Prévost-Desprez, saying the scheme was "extremely serious".

Amri had claimed the couple had not been planning to stay in Syria but merely to visit family.

The couple's entourage, including their children, burst into tears when sentencing was passed down.

The prosecution had called for 10-year jail terms for both.

Anne Clain left France in August 2015 with Amri, their three children and his son from a previous relationship, all four of them minors.

She said in testimony that she had hoped to experience an Islamic "utopia" but admitted she had been blind to the ideology of her radicalised brothers and that of the Islamic State group.

Clain's lawyers said she had renounced those beliefs over the past three years and added she would appeal.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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