Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt am Main

Amin M. ist sentenced to a juvenile sentence

Higher Regional Court Frankfurt/Main sentences Amin M. for a war crime against persons to a juvenile sentence of one year and six months.

Lesedauer:4 Minuten

No. 77/2022

Today, the 5th Senate (State Security Senate [Staatsschutzsenat]) of the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Frankfurt/Main has sentenced the 27-year-old Amin M. for a war crime against persons to a juvenile sentence of one year and six months on probation.

After nine days of main trial, the Senate found the following facts:

The defendant lived with his family near Homs in Syria. In the course of the protests against the government of Bashar al-Assad that flared up at the beginning of 2011, escalated from March 2011 and spread to a large-scale civil war, the defendant suffered his own injuries as well as losses within his family during air strikes. He subsequently joined a resistance group fighting against the Assad regime under the leadership of the “Free Syrian Army”. During the associated fighting, on 30 December 2013, the defendant and his fellow fighters came across the body of a Syrian Armed Forces soldier killed earlier in the battle. The defendant believed the killed soldier to have been an Assad regime air force pilot. Out of anger against the regime and the military, incited by fellow fighters and in reaction to the airstrikes, the defendant allowed himself to be filmed kicking the killed soldier in the stomach with his shod foot and running this foot over the dead man's face, calling him a "dog." Furthermore, the defendant posed - partly alone, partly together with a fellow combatant armed with a rifle - for several photographs with the killed Syrian soldier, whereby, among other things, he placed a foot on the chest of the dead man in the manner of a big game hunter who has killed an animal.

The defendant had entered Germany in November 2015 and was arrested on 18 August 2021 on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by the investigating judge of the Higher Regional Court Frankfurt/Main dating from 6 August 2021. Since then, the defendant was in pre-trial detention until 27 July 2022, when he was spared from further execution of pre-trial detention by decision of the Senate dating from the same day. The Senate has lifted the arrest warrant today.

Since the defendant was only 18 years old at the time of the crime and his development was retarded, the Senate applied juvenile criminal law.

The enforcement of the sentence was suspended on probation because the defendant, who had no previous convictions, has led an unpunished life since committing the crime. In addition, the injustice he had committed was made particularly clear to him in the course of the execution of a pre-trial detention of approximately one year. Furthermore, the defendant has taken a positive development after his entry into the Federal Republic of Germany: He has been living in a stable partnership since 2019, has started a family and established a joint residence with his partner. The defendant also has pursued professional activities within the scope of his health and the possibilities under the law on foreigners. In addition, the juvenile court judge responsible for the decisions that become necessary after the suspension of sentence will impose conditions and instructions on the defendant that are intended to support this positive development.

The judgement is final.

Frankfurt am Main Higher Regional Court, judgment of 5 October 2022, 5-2 OJs 15/20 - 1/22

English version: Dr. Charlotte Rau

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