Berlin, Germany: Two Syrians received lengthy jail sentences in Germany on Thursday for their role in execution by an Islamist terrorist group linked to Al-Qaeda, a court said.
Named only as Khedr A.K., 43, and Sami A.S., 36, the two men were found guilty for complicity in the deadly shooting of a lieutenant colonel with the Syrian army on July 10, 2012, the court in Duesseldorf said.
Khedr A.K. was handed a life sentence for war crimes, murder, and membership of a terrorist organization, while Sami A.S. received nine years for aiding and abetting a war crime and supporting a terrorist organization.
Khedr A.K. joined the Ghurabaa Muhassan group in Syria, part of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization, sometime before July 2012, prosecutors said on the men’s arrest in July 2020.
At that time, Jabhat al-Nusra was Al-Qaeda’s sister organization in Syria.
Khedr A.K. is accused of guarding the prisoner with a rapid-fire rifle as he was transferred to his place of execution and as he was killed on the banks of the Euphrates river in Syria.
Sami A.S. filmed the shooting of the victim and commented on the video “in a glorifying manner” for propaganda purposes, prosecutors said.
Syria’s civil war, which started with the brutal repression of anti-government protests, has killed more than 380,000 people and displaced nearly half the country’s pre-conflict population.
Germany has taken in more than 700,000 Syrian refugees since the start of the conflict.
In February, a German court convicted a former Syrian intelligence service agent for complicity in crimes against humanity in the first court case worldwide over state-sponsored torture by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.