Sweden issues life sentences for role in Syrian decapitations | News | DW | 14.12.2015
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Sweden issues life sentences for role in Syrian decapitations

A Swedish court has sentenced two men to life in prison for crimes committed in Syria. The court said that the men - who appeared in videos of two beheadings - intended to intimidate foreign and Syrian populations.

The two Swedish citizens were sentenced by a Gothenburg court on Monday for their involvement in the decapitation of two men in Aleppo, Syria's second largest city.

Defendants Hassan al-Mandlawi, aged 32, and Al-Amin Sultan, aged 30, denied any involvement in the crimes, saying that they were not at the location of the murders in 2013.

However, evidence discovered on a USB memory stick in Sultan's home showed both of them in videos in which two prisoners are killed.

"In connection with searches of the younger man, police discovered that he was in possession of a USB stick, with three films in which two men - apparently civilians - were executed by having their throats slit by a knife," said a statement from the Goteborg District Court.

The two men, arrested in July, were sentenced on terrorism charges since the act was "intended to seriously intimidate the population both in Syria and in other countries."

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'Highly involved'

The chief prosecutor said that while the two men may not have directly cut the throats of the victims, they are seen in one video lifting up a head and reveling in the crime.

"They didn't hold the knife, but otherwise they were highly involved," said chief prosecutor Agnetha Hildning Qvarnstrom during the trial, reported Reuters news agency.

Prosecutor Qvarnstrom said the defendants were linked to the terrorist-designated group Jaysh al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar, according to the DPA news agency.

Earlier this month, a Dutch court handed eight men - two in absentia - up to eight years in prison on terrorism-related charges, including urging youngsters to join terrorist groups and undergo military training in Syria.

ls/msh (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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