Fuad Shubaki. 'On peace supporters' side'
Weapons seized on Karin A ship
Photo: Joe Kot
Karin A mastermind gets 20-year jail term
Despite his old age and unstable health, military court sentences Arafat's 'right hand' Fuad Shubaki to 20 years in prison for organizing, funding weapons ship. Shubaki included in list of prisoners demanded by Hamas in exchange for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit
One month after convicting him of arms dealing and funding and organizing the Karin A weapons ship, the Judea Military Court on Sunday handed down a 20-year prison sentence to Fuad Shubaki, who was in charge of Palestinian Authority funds and considered late PA Chairman Yasser Arafat's "right hand".
Shubaki, 70, was also sentenced to five years probation, as the court ruled that the security offenses he was found guilty of dictate that a harsher sentence despite his old age and his unstable health. The prosecution had asked for a life sentence.
Shubaki was convicted of handling 1,000 tons of weapons in exchange for millions of dollars, funding the terror activities of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, and contacting a hostile element outside the region – meaning Iran.
Even after his conviction, Shubaki continued to insist that he was innocent. "I have been working from my first day to achieve peace between the Palestinians and Israelis and build neighborly relations," he said after the verdict was delivered a month ago.
"I was responsible for a budget in the Palestinian security organization. I have nothing to do with weapons. I was responsible for salaries, clothes, fuel, cars and food for people working at the Palestinian Authority.
"I had nothing to do with this," he claimed. "Any document issued would be signed by the 'rais' (Arafat) and we would just carry out orders. I didn’t know it was an amount of 1,000 tons of weapons.
"I am on the side of peace supporters," he said, adding that "I am from the gang of Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas). I worked with him for 28 years."
Shubaki also claimed that his medication condition was bad and that he wishes to return home to his six children, after eight years in jail. He also hinted that he had helped Israel obtain information on terrorist elements. The judges, however, we unimpressed by these claims.
Admits PA funded terror
Shubaki was first arrested by the Palestinian Authority at the United States' request, and was held in a prison in Jericho together with the murderers of Israeli Minister Rehavam Ze'evi. In March 2006, the Israel Defense Forces raided the prison and arrested Shubaki and Ze'evi's murderers, after receiving information that the PA planned to release them.
During his investigation, Subaki revealed to the Shin Bet a lot of information about the PA's conduct under Arafat at the beginning of the al-Aqsa Intifada. He admitted that the PA had funded cells which operated against Israel, using tax funds it received from the Jewish state.
Shubaki also said that Iran and Hezbollah were behind the Karin A weapons ship, in coordination with senior PA officials, and that several Palestinian officials had received funds to purchase weapons.
His trial was conducted for three years. In the past year, he was included in the list of prisoners Hamas is demanding in exchange for the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.