30 months for Aussie who pleaded guilty to aiding Hamas

January 5, 2012 16:05

The Central District Court sentenced a Palestinian-born dual Australian -Jordanian national to 30 months in prison on Thursday, following his conviction for aiding illegal terror organization Hamas. The court also handed down an 18 month suspended sentence.

Palestinian-born Eyad Rashid Abu Arja, a 47-year-old computer engineer, was arrested at Ben Gurion Airport in March 2011 and originally charged with belonging to an illegal terrorist organization. Abu Arja had initially claimed he was in Tel Aviv for a four-day vacation, but later agreed to plead guilty to aiding Hamas under a plea bargain.

The plea bargain, drawn up between state prosecutors and Abu Arja's attorneys, included a deal for a 30-month prison sentence.

In agreeing to the sentence, Judge Clara Reginiano said Abu Arja was guilty of "serious security offenses" and that his punishment should act as a deterrent, but noted the important role plea bargains play in law enforcement.

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