A 36-year-old Singaporean man went on trial on Mon (13 Jan) for allegedly funding Islamic State (IS) propaganda nearly six years ago.
Imran Kassim was charged in court in Apr last year with making a transfer of S$450 via Western Union Global Network to an individual in Turkey in Oct 2014 for the purpose of publishing pro-IS material.
When asked whether he pleaded guilty or claimed trial to the charge under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act, Imran replied: “I can’t plead guilty or not plead guilty because I don’t recognise Singapore law. I only recognise Islamic law.”
“The only thing I will do is I will admit I did do the transfer,” he added, after having clarified upon the judge’s request that “Islamic law” referred to Sharia law.
Imran, a former managing director of a logistics company, is representing himself in the present trial. He was previously represented by a law firm.
Imran’s trial came after the first conviction and sentencing of a Singapore citizen for terrorism financing last Oct.
Ahmed Hussein Abdul Kadir Sheik Uduman was jailed for two and a half years for donating S$1,146 to Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal, an Islamist preacher living in Jamaica, according to court documents seen by AFP.
Hussein was arrested in July 2018 under the Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows for detention without trial for up to two years.
According to court documents, Hussein had been radicalised and “wanted to undertake armed violence in Syria in support of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria”.
The Ministry of Home Affairs in Apr last year — in its statement the same day the charge was made against Imran — said that Imran has been detained under the ISA since Aug 2017, had been investigated by the Internal Security Department (ISD), and was issued with a Detention Order (DO) for “intending to undertake armed violence overseas”.
“If Imran is convicted, the DO against him will be cancelled, and he will serve the imprisonment term imposed by the Court.
“To prevent him spreading his radical ideas to other inmates, he will be held separately, and will continue to undergo rehabilitation whilst serving his prison sentence.
“An assessment will be made at the end of his sentence whether he has been successfully rehabilitated or remains a threat to society. If he remains a threat, he may be detained further under the ISA,” the Ministry added.
MHA also reminded the public to refrain from remitting money, of any amount, or provide any support through the provision of services, supplies or any material to a terrorist organisation or any member of a terrorist group.”
“Anyone convicted of the offence of providing property and services for terrorist purposes shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $500,000, or both,” the Ministry warned.