Syrian refugee jailed for 23.5 years for killing and terrorism

A Syrian man who has been a refugee in the Netherlands since 2014 has been jailed for 23.5 years on appeal for his role in the killing of a Syrian army officer and for terrorism.

Ahmad al K was given a 20-year sentence at his original trial in 2021 but was found not guilty at the time of being involved in a terrorist organisation. Both the defence and public prosecution department had appealed against the lower court sentence.

Appeal court judges have now also convicted him of being part of a terrorist organisation, hence the longer sentence.

Key to the trial was a nine-minute video that was shown in court and which depicts how the injured soldier was taken to the banks of the Euphrates river by jeep and shot at least 26 times.

Al K told the court that he was been forced into joining the killing and had deliberately missed the victim. But the public prosecution department says the video evidence shows he hit the soldier at least once.

Al K was arrested in Kapelle in Zeeland in 2019, after his name turned up in a German investigation. The arrest was a shock in the locality as Al K was known as a friendly man who played football at the local club and went to the village church

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