STUTTGART, Germany – A court on Tuesday convicted three Iraqi men of plotting to kill then-Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi during a visit to Germany in 2004 and jailed them for up to 10 years.
The Stuttgart state court convicted the three men of attempted participation in murder and membership of terrorist organization Ansar al-Islam, a radical Islamic group linked to Al Qaeda.
Ringleader Ata Abdoulaziz Rashid was given a 10-year sentence while Rafik Mohamad Yousef and Mazen Ali Hussein were sentenced to 8 and 7 1/2 years respectively.
The men rejected the charges during the trial, which began in June 2006.
Prosecutors said the three planned to attack Allawi at a business forum at a bank in downtown Berlin. A few weeks earlier, Ansar al-Islam had called on a Web site for Allawi to be killed.
The men were arrested in pre-dawn raids on Dec. 3, 2004.
Ansar al-Islam, which was formed in the Kurdish parts of Iraq, is believed to have been behind attacks on U.S. and allied troops in Iraq. The defendants are Iraqi citizens of Kurdish origin.
According to the indictment, Rashid also conducted monthly collections for the group in 2003-2004 and transferred the money to Iraq.