Luxembourg couple jailed for spreading IS propaganda
By Steve Remesch and Yannick Lambert
Two Islamic State supporters from Luxembourg were sentenced on Thursday to a combined total of more than five years in prison for spreading propaganda by the terrorist organisation, in the first such trial in the Grand Duchy.
The public prosecutor's office had charged the 29-year-old man and the 25-year-old woman, from the Kirchberg area of the capital, in connection with downloading, translating and distributing several thousand online messages in support of the Islamic State terror group.
The male defendant, referred to as Kevin M, was sentenced to a prison term of three and a half years, 18 months of which were suspended, and a total of five years on probation.
His partner, Alysson A, was jailed for two years, half of which will be spent on probation. Both have been ordered to participate in a de-radicalisation programme as part of their probation.
The sentence handed down the judges fell short of that sought by the public prosecutor's office. During the trial, the prosecutor's office had demanded prison terms of four and a half years for the male defendant and three years for his partner. All parties can appeal the sentence within 40 days.
Kevin M. was allegedly in contact with an IS member from Luxembourg who died in Syria in 2013, and another Luxembourg resident, Steve Duarte, who is reportedly still imprisoned in Syria, where he was captured, according to the Luxemburger Wort.
Duarte, a Portuguese national raised in Luxembourg, joined the Islamic State in 2014 after converting to Islam four years previously.
He said he wishes to return to the Grand Duchy with his wife and two children, despite having been identified in a video depicting the killing of several hostages. Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn has said that the country is not responsible for dealing with Duarte, given that he is a Portuguese national.
In 2014, ISIS celebrated a Luxembourg resident as a martyr "from the second richest country in the world".