Austria Charges Muslim Refugee With 20 Counts of Murder


Austrian prosecutors reported that they have charged a Syrian rebel with 20 counts of murder after he allegedly executed wounded soldiers in Syria.

The 27-year-old man is a member of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and was arrested in a refugee shelter in western Austria in June after being denounced by a fellow Syrian, the Local reported.

At first the man admitted to the 2013-2014 killings that are thought to have taken place in Homs, Syria’s third-largest city. A spokesman for public prosecutors in the Austrian city of Innsbruck told AFP that the man later retracted his confession.

According to BBC, Austrian media said he told people at the refugee shelter that he had shot and killed wounded government soldiers when he was fighting with the Farouq Brigade, an Islamist rebel group.

This man now faces life in prison if convicted, and is set to go on trial in early 2017.

Prosecutors were able to bring charges against him due to an international counter-terrorism agreement that was put in place to prevent political murders from remaining unpunished if a criminal flees abroad.

Killing an injured soldier is strictly prohibited under the Geneva Convention.

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