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'D.C. Five' jailed in Pakistan on terror charges

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DC 5 given 10 years in jail
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Five jailed for 10 years for criminal conspiracy, five years on anti-terrorism charge
  • "D.C. Five" arrested in December in Pakistan after going missing in U.S.
  • Pakistani authorities says men were college students intent on waging holy war
  • Men said they were innocent and claimed they were tortured in jail
RELATED TOPICS
  • Pakistan
  • Terrorism

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Five Americans arrested on terror charges in Pakistan have been sentenced to at least 10 years in prison, the deputy prosecutor general said Thursday.

The men, dubbed the "D.C. Five," will also have to pay a fine of 75,000 Pakistani rupees ($878), public prosecutor Nadim Cheema said.

They have the right to appeal to the Lahore High Court, he said.

Each man was sentenced to 10 years for criminal conspiracy and five years on an anti-terrorism charge, specifically contributing to a banned organization for the purpose of conducting terrorist attacks, Deputy Prosecutor General Rana Bukhtar Ali said.

It was not immediately clear whether the sentences must be served concurrently or consecutively.

Cheema said the court had seen strong evidence such as incriminating e-mails and the suspects' confessions.

The five Americans -- Ahmed Abdullah Minni, Umar Farooq, Aman Hassan Yemer, Waqar Hussain Khan and Ramy Zamzam -- used to worship together at a mosque in Alexandria, Virginia, until they went missing in November and turned up in Pakistan. They were arrested in December in Sargodha, about 120 miles south of Islamabad, after their parents in the United States reported them missing.

Pakistani authorities have described the men as college students intent on waging a holy war against "infidels for the atrocities committed by them against Muslims around the world."

The men had said they were innocent and claimed they were tortured in jail. They pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to their attorney, Hassan Dastgir Katchela.

CNN's Thomas Evans contributed to this report.

 
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