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Germany: Dissident Syria secret service officer testifies in torture trial

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Syrian prison [FIle photo]

An officer who defected from Syria's Assad regime's General Intelligence Division appeared before the German court in Koblenz as a witness in the case of Anwar Raslan, who is accused of crimes against humanity, Süddeutsche revealed.

The paper reported the prosecutor saying that it is possible that the witness will be tried for perjury as the information he previously provided is completely different from what he said in court on Wednesday.

The witness previously reported that he was working with Eyad Al-Gharib, an officer who is also on trial with Anwar Raslan, when – during a demonstration – Eyad fired live bullets at peaceful protestors.

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During his testimony in court, the witness completely denied knowledge of whether Iyad had fired on the demonstrators.

The judge suggested that the witness was threatened by Gharib's family forcing him to change his statement.

Fifty-seven-year-old Raslan, a former Colonel in the Syrian Army, is accused of involvement in the murder of 58 demonstrators in 2011 and the torture of 4,000 others in the Al-Khatib detention centre in Damascus.

He and his fellow accused, 43-year-old Al-Gharib, are being tried on the principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows a foreign country to prosecute crimes against humanity.

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