A first-tier court in Estonia on Tuesday handed real jail sentences to two men tried on charges of supporting Islamic terrorism who themselves denied the accusations.
The Harju county court found Ramil Khalilov, 25, guilty of funding and supporting terrorist activity and aiding and abetting membership in a terrorist group, and sentenced him to seven years' imprisonment. Co-defendant Roman Manko, 30, was found guilty of funding and supporting terrorist activity and sentenced to five years in jail.
The sentence starting date was set on April 13, 2015 when the men were detained as suspects.
According to the charges the pre-trial investigation established that Abdurrahman (Ivan) Sazanakov, a former resident of Estonia, planned in the summer of 2013 to travel to Syria through Turkey with the aim of joining a terrorist organization active in that country and carried out his plan in July of the same year.
Khalilov who was aware of Sazanakov's plan booked and bought for him a ticket on a Turkish internal flight from Antalya to Hataya next to the Syrian border, printed out the travel document proving the booking and explained to him how to use it at the airport, thus enabling the man to reach Syria and join the terrorist group.
Khalilov also collected money for Sazanakov from his acquaintances, including 600 euros from Manko in fall 2013. In October 2013 he visited Sazanakov in Syria, accompanying his wife and their underage children, and delivered the funds.
Besides giving Khalilov 600 euros for Sazanakov in 2013, Manko visited Riga in February 2014 and solicited funds to support Sazanakov.
Both men pleaded not guilty at the trial.