The Lebanese Military Tribunal has sentenced prominent pop singer-turned fugitive Fadel Shaker in absentia to 22 years in prison with hard labor for providing support to a terrorist group.
The court, presided by Brigadier General Mounir Shehadeh, issued the verdict on two counts.
The first sentence includes 15 years in prison for “involvement in terrorist acts committed by terrorists, with his knowledge of the matter by providing logistical services to them.”
And another seven years was added for financing the terrorist group of hardcore Lebanese Takfiri preacher Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir, which was responsible for killing 18 Lebanese soldiers in the southern city of Sidon during clashes in 2013 following the spillover of violence from the conflict in neighboring Syria.
The court also ordered him to pay a fine of 5 million Lebanese pounds ($3,293) on charges of sponsoring terrorism.
Shaker started his career in mid-1990s, and was catapulted to fame in 1999.
In 2012, he quit his music career and became a follower of Assir. He announced his comeback to the music arena six years later.
Assir was sentenced to death in September 2017 for his role in fueling sectarian violence in Lebanon and organizing attacks against members of the army.
The radical Lebanese cleric was apprehended at Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport in August 2015 as he was trying to flee the Arab country using a forged passport. He had even undergone plastic surgery to change his appearance.
The extremist used to encourage sectarian strife in Lebanon by issuing audio statements while in hiding, calling on people to join the ranks of Takfiri terrorists in Syria.
The violence in Syria has sporadically spilled over into Lebanese territory, where Takfiri terrorists have every now and then conducted operations against the army.