The Military Tribunal of Lebanon sentenced famed Lebanese singer-turned radical Fadel Shaker to 22 years imprisonment for providing financial and logistical support to a “terrorist organization headed by Ahmed al-Assir, a hardline Muslim leader.
The sentence of Shaker, handed down in absentia on Wednesday, includes 15 years in prison with hard labour for “participation in terrorist acts committed by terrorists, with his understanding of the matter by providing them with logistical services,” said the Lebanon State-run National News Agency.
An additional seven years in prison for Shaker’s funding of al-ragtag Assir’s armed group was also handed down by the court.
For the party, Shaker had paid for arms and ammunition.
The sentence is related to the involvement of Shaker in the 2013 clashes against the Lebanese army in the suburb of Abra in the southern port city of Sidon, for which he has already been sentenced to 15 years in prison for hard labour.
Shaker was best known for love and loss songs that made him a celebrity in the Middle East, growing a scruffy beard and joining al-Assir’s party before he renounced his former career as immoral in 2012.
In favor of al-Assir, Shaker traded his songs for religious hymns, performing them at rallies.
Al-Assir commanded Lebanese army fighters in two-day clashes in 2013, leaving hundreds dead, including some 17 Lebanese soldiers.
Shaker, in a viral video at the time, said, “Yesterday we sent you two corpses home,” a comment some interpreted as acknowledging that he himself had killed two Lebanese soldiers.
By tradition, Lebanese security forces do not join the camp, rendering Shaker’s arrest impossible.