Sweden: Former Syrian officer acquitted of war crimes charges

A building facade of a court in Sweden (Flickr)

A building facade of a court in Sweden (Flickr)


A Swedish court acquitted a former officer of the Syrian regime forces on Thursday, June 20, from charges of aiding and abetting war crimes during the Syrian revolution over a decade ago. The officer could have faced a life sentence if convicted.

Syrian human rights activist Mansour al-Omari, who closely followed the trial, said via “X” that the Swedish judiciary acquitted the Syrian brigadier general of war crimes charges, as the court found that there was no evidence of the officer’s involvement in the armed conflict.

The court also stated that it was unclear whether the Syrian officer was responsible for arming the 11th Division, and it was not proven that the division participated in the specific attacks relevant to the case.

However, it was evident that the “Syrian Army” committed indiscriminate attacks violating international law during the war (war crimes), according to the court’s ruling.

What is the case about?

On April 15, the trial of the highest-ranking former military officer of the Syrian regime forces began in Stockholm, Sweden.

The former brigadier general in the Syrian Army, Mohammed Hamou, 65, who resides in Sweden, appeared before the court, charged with aiding and abetting war crimes during the Syrian revolution.

The indictment stated that Hamou contributed through advice and action to the war waged by the “Syrian Army,” which systematically included indiscriminate attacks on towns and places within and around the cities of Hama and Homs.

Prosecutors said the “Syrian Army’s” war included large-scale air and ground attacks carried out by unidentified elements within the “Army,” who executed indiscriminate strikes on civilian and military targets.

The charges pertain to the period from January 1 to July 20, 2012, and the trial is expected to continue until the end of May next year.

The hearings in the case continued until May 21, including testimony and statements from the eight plaintiffs, who refused to comment on the verdict before the text was read by the court.

Throughout the trial, brigadier general Hamou denied the charges against him. His lawyer, Marie Klemens, argued in court that her client denied criminal responsibility and showed no “intent” to contribute to the “indiscriminate war,” and could not be held responsible as he acted in a military context and was following orders.


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