June 25th, 2024

Accused extremist recruiter Awso Peshdary pleads guilty to terrorism-related charges

By The Canadian Press on February 23, 2023.

Awso Peshdary, who is accused of recruiting for ISIL, is escorted by police as he arrives for a hearing at the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa on Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. An accused extremist recruiter is returning to the Ontario Superior Court on Thursday and is expected to plead guilty to terrorism offences, eight years after he was first charged. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA – An accused recruiter for the Islamic State military group has renounced his previous extremism and pleaded guilty to terrorism offences in an Ottawa courtroom.

Awso Peshdary’s criminal trial in the Ontario Superior Court resumed today after his lawyers filed a motion saying he was prepared to change his plea to guilty, and the defence has submitted a joint application with the Crown to go directly to sentencing.

Peshdary was arrested on terrorism-related charges in February 2015, based on allegations he recruited and financed homegrown terrorists before helping them travel to Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant extremist group.

His case had been stalled pending a Federal Court decision that had dragged on while his lawyers, the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service debated what evidence could be used in the proceedings.

But Peshdary, who was 25 at the time of his arrest, is now dropping that case and his lawyers have agreed with prosecutors to request a sentence of 14years behind bars.

If the sentencing agreement is accepted by the court, Peshdary would be in prison for 21 months after being credited with time already served.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2023.

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