Germany's Life Sentence For Syrian Army Colonel
A German court sentenced an officer to life-imprisonment for crimes against humanity.
A former intelligence officer in Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s security services was sentenced in a landmark trial for crimes against humanity in the civil war.
Mr. Anwar R. has been charged with 58 murders, rape and sexual assault at a prison facility in Damascus that was supervised by an intelligence unit he headed. The suspect denies all charges.
The ruling would be the second issued in the same trial by the higher regional court in the western German city of Koblenz for crimes against humanity in the conflict.
Last year Mr. Eyad A., another former member of the Syrian intelligence service, was handed a 4-1/2 year prison sentence for abetting the torture of civilians.
Lawyers representing Syrians in Germany who say they were tortured in government facilities in the early years of the conflict, which started in 2011, expect the court to find Mr. Anwar R. guilty.
The trial has given hope to many of the 800,000 Syrians in Germany after attempts to establish an international tribunal for Syria failed.
The verdict against Eyad A. was mainly based on evidence of his work for the intelligence service that he had given to German immigration authorities and police after arriving in Germany in 2018 before he was granted asylum.