Hungary charges Syrian IS group suspect with imam beheading
AFP, , Tuesday 3 Sep 2019


Hungarian prosecutors on Tuesday charged a Syrian man arrested in Budapest last year of terrorism and crimes against humanity including the beheading of an imam in Syria in 2015.

According to a statement from the Budapest Chief Prosecution Office, prosecutors are seeking life imprisonment without parole for the 27-year-old man, identified as F. Hassan.

The authorities believe he commanded a small unit of the Islamic State group in Homs province in 2015 tasked with terrorising and executing civilians and religious leaders who refused to side with the terror group.

He is accused of personally taking part in the beheading of an imam in the town of al-Sukhnah, as well as the murders of three other people in the area between May 13 and 15 in 2015.

His unit also killed at least 25 people in the town during the period including women and children, according to the prosecutors' statement.

Authorities in Malta, Greece and Belgium, as well as in Hungary, took part in the investigation, which was coordinated by the European judicial cooperation agency Eurojust.

Some 10 witnesses in Belgium and Malta, as well as in Hungary, gave testimony, said the statement said.

The man, who had been given refugee status in Greece, was held at Budapest airport on December 30 after he presented forged travel documents for himself and a female travel partner.

His defence lawyer has said that prosecutors' evidence including wire-tapped telephone calls, video footage of the murders, and the suspect's own statements fail to support the accusations.

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