Utrecht Jihadist Charged

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Utrecht jihadist charged with War Crimes

In one of the more disgusting news stories this week we have the trial of suspected jihadist 23-year-old Oussama A. from Utrecht. He has also been charged with committing a war crime because he posed with a dead body for a photograph.

According to the Geneva Convention, it is forbidden to further dishonour someone who has already surrendered. The Public Prosecutor believes this also applies to someone who is dead. A. put the photo on Facebook.

A and his co accused travelled to Syria and joined terrorist organization ISIS. They later moved to the Free Syrian Army. In October 2016 they fled that rebel group because they said that wanted to return to the Netherlands.

They were arrested at the Turkish border. In Turkey the two were convicted of membership of a terrorist organization and sentenced to six years and three months in prison. They appealed and were released to await their new trial, but as they had entered the country illegally, they were deported from Turkey to the Netherlands.

Upon their arrival at Schiphol last July the two suspected jihadists were arrested. They are currently in custody in the high security prison in Vught. They are charged with membership of a terrorist organization and of recruiting. They were not present for their pro-forma hearing on Monday.

In principle a person cannot be convicted twice for the same crime in two countries, but according to the Public Prosecutor, there is an exception in this case as the sentence has not been completed or if it is not irrevocable. This is the case for both of the accused who were in custody in Turkey for around 18 months.

The suspects’ lawyer requested that they be allowed to await their trial in the Netherlands in freedom, but the court ruled against that. Because the crimes they are suspected of are so serious that the rule of law would be seriously shocked if these men were allowed to await their trial in freedom the judge said.

The next hearing is scheduled for early in January.

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Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.

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