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Increased sentence for assault in Syria

Published onsdag 11 maj 2016 kl 16.38
The District Court of Södertörn.
The District Court of Södertörn. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

A man who was prosecuted for aggravated assault in Syria has had his sentence increased to seven years in prison after his victim came forth to testify.

The assault, which took place in Syria in 2012, was filmed and posted on Facebook. The case was tried in a Swedish court after one of the perpetrators was identified as a person with a permanent Swedish residence permit, who was subsequently sentenced to five years in prison.

But after the sentence was passed, the previously unknown victim was identified and found in Turkey by a Swedish reporter at the newspaper Expressen. The victim was questioned by Turkish police, and attended a new trial that was launched by the District Court of Södertörn. Today, the sentence was increased from five to seven years’ imprisonment for aggravated assault.

The victim told the court he had left the regime forces in Syria to join a resistance group, and the assault was part of a quarrel between him and the group leader. The court deemed the incident not to have such connections to the armed conflict that it constituted a breach of international law.

The defendant will be expelled from Sweden after serving his sentence, but his lawyer told Swedish Radio News he may appeal the court ruling.

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