A court in Germany has put on trial a former Syrian militant leader, who stands accused of allegedly leading a rebel group responsible for torture and killings of civilians supporting the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Court prosecutors in the western German city of Duesseldorf said on Monday that the 42-year-old man, identified as Ibrahim Al F., had joined armed groups fighting the Syrian government in 2012 and commanded a 150-strong militia linked to the Free Syrian Army, which looted homes and mistreated civilians in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.
The victims included Assad’s supporters, suspected spies as well as Kurds.
German media reported that the accused, also known as the "father of the wolf," had "personally tortured" two civilians who were later released for a ransom.
Prosecutors said that in a separate case, at least one other victim was tortured to death, another "died in unclear circumstances" and a third one fled.
The Syrian man, who remained silent all throughout the court, had been recognized by one of his victims in the western German city of Muenster.
Reports said the defendant had been arrested in April 2016 and could face life imprisonment if found guilty of war crimes. The trial is set to run until at least September.
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