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THE Spanish High Court has confirmed the sentence of 10 years in prison for former Palma resident and businessman Ahmed Brahim, found guilty of being a member of the Al Qaeda terrorist organisation.

It was considered proved that the Algerian, who lived on the Paseo Maritimo in Palma for 15 years, talked about creating a web page for the dissemination of “fatwas” (death decrees) issued by the heads of the extremist organisation to justify the Jihad based on Sharia (extreme Islamic fundamentalist) law.

Ahmed Brahim was arrested at his home in Palma in 2002. In 2006 the High Court sentenced him to 10 years in prison for the crime of being a member of Al Qaeda.

Two of the Supreme Court magistrates disagreed with their colleagues and said that they considered these facts did not constitute the crime of being a member of a terrorist organisation, but corresponded to “some form of diffusion of hatred and the praise of terrorism”.

In spite of the High Court's sentence, the Supreme Court heard the appeal by Brahim, in which he alleged invasion of privacy, saying he considered the way in which the applications to apply telephone surveillance to him were “incorrect”.

The Supreme Court said that this “was an illegal interference in the fundamental right to private communications”.
With regard to this the Court said that the police “did not give sufficient reasons in their respective applications” because “there were practically no conversations to listen to” as Brahim was out of Spain at the time.

However, the Supreme Court found that the orders which allowed the phone surveillance were “sufficiently justified” as they contained “sufficient factual elements derived from the police investigation” about the Algerian's relationship with active members of terrorist groups.