Extended sentence for serving prisoner
A serving prisoner who arranged for his brother to send SD cards hidden in children’s books to him while in jail has been found guilty of conspiracy under the Prison Act.
Awat Hamasalih, aged 37, is currently serving a six year sentence at HMP Dovegate in Staffordshire following his conviction in June 2017 for being a member of a proscribed organisation (Daesh) and being in possession of articles connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.
Yesterday (10 Feb) he was found guilty of conspiracy to bring/throw/convey a prohibited article into prison after he arranged for his wife and his brother to send in SD cards concealed within two children’s books and a Harry Potter novel.
The package was intercepted by prison staff in September 2018 who handed it over to counter terrorism detectives for examination. The cards contained media files relating to a convicted terrorist, religious speeches, pictures and videos of his family.
Awat planned with his 34-year-old Finnish wife Runak Othmani that she would download files for the SD card and then send it on to Awat’s 35-year-old brother Amang Hamasalih in Doncaster who would then send on the package to prison.
Head of West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, Detective Chief Superintendent Kenny Bell said: “Even though the material on the SD card itself was not banned, the fact that they arranged for SD cards to be secretly sent into prison - a condition that Hamasalih had consented to at the start of his sentence - meant they were breaking the law.
“We were able to monitor phone calls that Hamasalih made to his brother and his wife on a prison phone which has resulted in them all being convicted of conspiracy.
“Awat Hamasalih had signed a prison form which clearly states what inmates can and can’t have delivered by post.
“We work very closely with the Prison Service to ensure those in jail comply with strict conditions and are not in a position to receive material that could be banned. Thankfully in this case, the material was not illegal but the process of arranging the SD cards itself is an offence."
Amang Hawasalih pleaded to the same charge at a hearing in Birmingham Crown Court on 3 October 2019. Both brothers will be sentenced on Wednesday 19 February at Stafford Crown Court. Awat Hamasalih’s wife, Runak Othmani, is currently out of the country.