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Swedish-Lebanese Man Jailed in Thailand for Hiding Bomb Material

  • VOA News

Atris Hussein, center, a Lebanese-Swedish citizen, arrives at criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand, Sept. 18, 2013.

Atris Hussein, center, a Lebanese-Swedish citizen, arrives at criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand, Sept. 18, 2013.

A Thai court has sentenced a Lebanese Swedish citizen to two years and eight months in jail for possessing a large amount of fertilizer that could be used to make explosives.

The Bangkok court on Wednesday convicted Atris Hussein of hiding nearly three tons of ammonium nitrate. Ammonium nitrate can be used for agricultural purposes, but can also be used to make explosives.

The court said there was no evidence to back the authorities' claims that Hussein had ties to Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group. His sentence was reduced from four years because he cooperated with authorities.

The 49-year-old was arrested at an airport in Bangkok in January 2012 just after the United States issued a terror warning against tourist sites in the Thai capital. Israeli officials had also warned of a possible attack by Hezbollah.

Hussein, who denies the charges against him, hugged his wife and told reporters he was "happy" following the ruling. His lawyer says he plans to appeal the conviction.

Last month, two Iranian men were sentenced to 15 years and life in prison for their involvement in a foiled February 2012 bomb plot. Israeli and Thai officials say the explosives were meant to be part of a terror campaign against Israeli diplomatic officials.

Thai police say the two cases are not related.
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