Two suspected Syrian war criminals on trial in Germany for execution of government soldier
DUSSELDORF (Germany), March 5 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Two Syrian men went on trial in the German city of Dusseldorf on Thursday for an alleged war crime.
The defendants, aged 35 and 43, allegedly took part in the execution of a lieutenant colonel of Syrian government forces in 2012, according to federal prosecutors in Germany.
According to German investigators, the two took the chained and badly abused prisoner to his execution.
One of them then took on a role as guard while the other one filmed and commented on the shooting for propaganda purposes.
The 35-year-old professed his innocence on his first day in court. Via his attorney, he argued that he never killed anyone and that he himself was a victim of the bloody conflict.
He claims to have observed the execution by accident, after attending what he thought was a hostage exchange as an independent press representative. The man says he does not know his co-defendant, who remained silent on day one of the trial.
Both men were arrested on July 13, 2020, in the German cities of Essen and Naumburg. The 43-year-old is said to have been a member of a group that later joined forces with al-Nusra Front, an alliance of militants fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
He is charged with membership of a terrorist organization while the other man is charged with supporting a terrorist organization.