Saturday, March 19, 2016

Finnish court sentences Iraqi man publishing head of enemy soldier for war crimes

An Iraqi man was given by a Finnish court a one-year-and-four-month suspended prison sentence on Friday for publishing on the internet photos of the head of a killed soldier.

The sentence was given by a local court in Tampere, central southern Finland. The court regarded the publication done in 2015 as a war crime.

The now 29-year-old accused used to be in a semi military group associated with the Iraqi governmental forces fighting against the ISIS. The dead enemy soldier could be identified in the picture and his name was given.

Prosecutor Juha-Mikko Hamalainen told local media the deeds of the man were not "among the worst", but the trial had a character of setting a precedent.

"This case and an upcoming one create a judicial practise," he said.

The defendant argued the publication of a photo on the internet reflected the cultural background of the accused.

"That man had killed others before he exploded himself. This picture was then published as a remembrance of the victims," the defendant said.

The Iraqi man admitted the publication but said the intention was not to dishonor the deceased enemy soldier.

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