Swedish trial ends against man suspected of "Hamas funding"

Other News Materials 10 February 2009 19:02 (UTC +04:00)

A trial ended Tuesday against a Swedish man charged with violating a ban against raising funds to organizations linked to the radical Islamic movement Hamas, dpa reported.

Prosecutor Agneta Hilding Qvarnstrom called for a prison sentence for Khalid al-Yousef at the end of the trial held in the district court in the southern city of Malmo.

Al-Yousef, 44, who has Palestinian roots, was head of the local al-Aqsa Grain Foundation described as the Swedish branch of the al- Aqsa Foundation and according to its own estimates has raised some 4 million kronor (478,000 dollars).

The prosecutor said the European Union has classified as a terrorist organization and it did not matter if the funds were aimed for charity as al-Yousef maintained, since the EU has imposed a ban against funding Hamas.

In 2003, authorities in the United States alleged that the al-Aqsa Foundation funded terrorist operations.

Defence lawyer, Danish national Laue Traberg Smidt, questioned some of the evidence against his client.

Sentencing was due later this month. The maximum jail term is six years.