An Iraqi court has handed down sentencing for the Najaf Riots case. Ten so-called “Soldiers of Heaven” who followed a false Mahdi, or messiah, were sentenced to death, and 390 others were sent to jail for fifteen years or more.
The Najaf riots came about as the soldiers of heaven attempted to assassinate most of the top Shiite clerics in the city of Najaf. Their “mahdi” could not have been real for he is dead, and they are now in jail. There were masses of evidence presented, and many witnesses who testified at the trial, but in the end it appears that the court has meted out even-handed justice as some were completely set free due to lack of evidence.
More at Gulfnews:
Najaf, Iraq: An Iraqi judge sentenced 10 people to death and 390 others to between 15 years and life in jail over clashes near the city of Najaf early this year that killed hundreds, local officials and a lawyer said on Monday.
They said the verdicts were handed down on Sunday in the holy Shi’ite city, making it one of the biggest mass sentencing in Iraq since US forces ousted Saddam Hussein in 2003.
The government said the leader of the group, who claimed to be the Mahdi, a messiah-like figure in Islam, had been killed. They said his “Soldiers of Heaven” had planned to assassinate top Shi’ite clerics and had to be stopped.
The group had fought battles with Iraqi and US forces near Najaf in late January.