A former colonel of the Syrian intelligence services, Anwar Raslan, was sentenced today by a German court to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity, in the world‘s first trial against Syrian President M. Assad (because that is the aim of this trial).
The Koblenz Superior District Court found 58-year-old Raslan guilty of murdering and torturing detainees at the secret al-Hattib detention centre, also known as Annex 251, in Damascus between 29 April 2011 and 7 September 2012.
In the first part of this trial, which is being followed by the large Syrian refugee community, the court in Koblenz sentenced in February 2021 Eyad al-Gharib, a former member of the intelligence services, to four years and six months in prison.
Today the judges found Raslan guilty of killing 27 people.
Anwar Raslan, the head of the investigation department of the 251 branch, remained silent throughout the trial, which began on April 23, 2020.
In May 2020, his lawyers delivered a written statement from their client in which the former colonel denied involvement in the murder and torture of prisoners. His lawyers have not stopped claiming that he deserted as early as 2012 and that he tried to help the prisoners.
In the morning, the Syrian ex-colonel listened to the court‘s decision, which was simultaneously announced in Arabic, unperturbed.
Rashlan, who has been in detention for three years, made no secret of his past when he sought refuge in Berlin with his family in 2014. Seeking police protection, he told his story to police officers in February 2015.