Montreal couple cleared of terror charges now helping in fight against radicalization
Acquitted of terror-related charges, Djermane and Jamali now helping provincial anti-radicalization centre
A month after a jury acquitted Sabrine Djermane and her boyfriend El Mahdi Jamali of terror-related charges, the couple is helping Quebec's anti-radicalization centre develop a guide on how to care for people charged with terror offences who have gone through the prison system.
Djermane and Jamali, 19 and 18 years old when they were arrested in April 2015, spent two and a half years in detention. They were released at the end of their trial on Dec. 19, 2017.
"They want to give back to the community," said the director of the Montreal-based Centre for Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence (CPRLV), Herman Deparice-Okomba.
Their involvement with the CPRLV is not recent. Deparice-Okomba says the centre developed an intervention plan for the two while they were in jail, which included a plan to help their reintegration into society.
Expertise needed in Quebec
"It was in that context that we suggested they help us, by talking about what they've gone through and to see if they can help us develop a guide to how to take care of people who have been charged with terror offences," said Deparice-Okomba.
He says it's the kind expertise needed in Quebec.
"It allows us to understand the process of radicalization and indoctrination in Quebec," said Deparice-Okomba. "That allows us to develop good prevention strategies."
Djermane and Jamali will work as consultants for 12 weeks to develop the guide and will be paid an allowance to cover expenses.
Deparice-Okomba says the fact that the two are now working on the guide does not constitute an admission of guilt on the terror-related charges on which they were acquitted. He says while they may have had radical ideas, they were not violent.
He says this is an excellent opportunity for the couple.
'You have to give them a chance'
"They're only 22 and 21 years old. Life is not over for them," he said. "You have to give them a chance. Their chance is to show the community that they've learned from the past."
The couple's legal troubles aren't over yet, however.
Last week, the Crown appealed Djermane's acquittal on the charged of possession of an explosive substance.
Jamali was found guilty of a single lesser charge, possession of an explosive without a lawful excuse. Because of pre-trial time served, his sentence for that offence has already been purged.
The two signed peace bonds that were issued separately from the criminal charges, and they continue to be bound by several conditions outlined in those bonds.
Those conditions include a prohibition against using social media, a requirement to check in weekly with the RCMP and a requirement to avoid Montreal's Assahaba mosque, linked to the controversial imam Adil Charkaoui.