Trial Starts In Germany Of Alleged Isis Fighter
The trial started in Frankfurt on Monday (August 22) of a German man, accused of being part of an Islamic State (ISIS) combat group and taking part in a corpse mutilation on Syrian soil.
Abdelkarim E. was arrested in Turkey where he spent one year in custody before being moved to German custody in February 2015.
"With ISIS he was primarily involved in the combat unit. Beyond that he is accused of committing war crimes. There are concrete facts available that combatants mutilated the body of an opposition fighter: they cut of the ears and the nose. The accused filmed this event with his mobile phone and gave an injurious commentary," federal prosecutor, Carol Bitter said from the court.
The 30 year-old is said to have gone to Syria between September 2013 and February 2014 for weapons training. He is accused of membership in a terrorist organization abroad and for making arrangements for an act of violence.
According to defense lawyers, Abdelkarim E. was looking forward to the trial getting underway.
"As to the accusations themselves we can't give any statement at this time. There is the question of whether the German constitution wants to support the Assad regime by accentuating certain criminal charges. That has to be decided in the proceedings," defense lawyer, Hartmut Fritz said.
Trials of this nature in Germany are still relatively rare.
"Are we entering new legal territory in the code of crimes against international law? There haven't been that many criminal trials in Germany on this issue. In the opinion of the defense, the mutilation of a corpse in Syria is not indictable. There has been one parallel trial to do with a mister Aria L, also carried out by this criminal division, but the verdict is not yet legally binding as far as we know. The defense has not been shown the explanatory statement," defense lawyer, Oliver Gorski said.