A MUSLIM cleric based on the Costa Blanca has been cleared by the National Court in Madrid of setting up a terrorist organisation and harbouring terrorists.

One of the judges, Angel Hurtado, issued a dissenting opinion that Hesham Shashaa should have been convicted of the crime of indoctrination.

49-year-old Egyptian national Shashaa (also known as Abu Adam) was arrested in April 2017 at his Teulada-Moraira villa.

Prosecutors had called for a nine-year year jail term if he had been found guilty of spreading jihadism in Alicante Province.

He was also accused and acquitted of providing ‘refuge and a transit point for Islamic State members from Syria and Iraq’.

Shashaa strenuously denied the charges and said that he came from Germany to Spain in 2011 to ‘prevent the spread of terrorism to the country’.

Shashaa invested money into mosques in Almoradi, Calpe, Teulada and Torrent.

He told the National Court that the finance came mainly from his work for Kuwait’s Ministry for Religious Affairs and as a proof reader of Arabic texts.

In 2010, the New York Times profiled Shashaa’s work in Germany to combat radical Islamist elements.

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