Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt am Main

Opening of the main trial for crimes against humanity

By decision of 10 November 2021, the 5th Senate (State Security Senate [Staats-schutzsenat]) of the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Frankfurt/Main opened the main trial against the 36-year-old Syrian citizen Alaa M. for crimes against humanity.

Lesedauer:3 Minuten

Nr. 70/2021

The Senate thus admitted the main parts of the bill of indictment of the Attorney General at the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) of 9 July 2021 to the main trial. In ten cases, the Senate did not admit the bill of indictment for legal reasons. According to the Senate, these charges were not sufficiently circumscribed and lacked the necessary concreteness (sec. 200 para. 1 of the German Code of Criminal Procedure, StPO).

The defendant is accused of torturing prisoners in the years 2011 and 2012 in the city of Homs in Syria in the military hospital as well as in the prison of the military intelligence service. The prisoners, who were attributed to the opposition rebelling against the Assad regime, were inflicted with severe physical and psychological damage. In one case, the defendant is alleged to have intentionally killed a prisoner by means of an injection. The intention was to demonstrate his power and in the same time to suppress the rebellion of a part of the Syrian population.

The main trial will start in January 2022. Dates will be announced separately.

The defendant, who has been working as a doctor in Germany since 2015, was arrested on 19 June 2020. Since then, he has been in pre-trial detention without interruption. In its decision of 10 November 2021, the Senate ordered continued detention.

Insofar as parts of the bill of indictment were not admitted by the Senate, the Attorney General (Generalstaatsanwaltschaft) has the right of appeal to the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) within one week.

Higher Regional Court (OLG) Frankfurt/Main, decision of 10 November 2021, 5-3 StE 2/21 – 4 – 2/21

Further explanations

Content of the bill of indictment

(1) The bill of indictment shall indicate the indicted accused, the offence with which he is charged, the time and place of its commission, its statutory elements and the criminal provisions which are to be applied (the charges). …

(2) The bill of indictment shall also set the relevant results of the investigations. This may be dispensed with if the charges are preferred before a criminal court judge.

English version: Dr. Charlotte Rau 

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