The Ilfov Tribunal on Wednesday upheld the appeal of Mohammad Munaf, who is serving a 10-year sentence for terrorism in the case of the 2005 abduction of three Romanian journalists in Iraq, and ordered his conditional release.
In 2008, the Bucharest Court of Appeal sentenced Munaf to 10 years in prison for participating in the kidnapping of journalists Ovidiu Ohanesian, Sorin Miscoci and Marie-Jeanne Ion, the payment of two million euros in moral damages to the journalists and 100,000 RON in court fees.
His full-time sentence would have ended in 2025, as he began serving it in 2015, when he was brought to Romania.
Mohammad Munaf, an Iraqi and US citizen settled in Romania, served as a guide to the three Romanian journalists abducted in Iraq at the end of March 2005, and was held hostage, just like them, for 55 days.
After the release of the journalists, Munaf was placed in detention by the US army in Iraq for being an accomplice to the mastermind of the kidnapping, Syrian Omar Hayssam.
In October 2006, Munaf was sentenced to death by hanging by the Baghdad Central Criminal Court, but the sentence was overturned by the Iraqi Court of Cassation, on grounds that the role of Munaf and of the other defendants in the abduction of the three journalists cannot be precisely determined.
Munaf was brought to Romania in August 2015 and placed in detention.