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Iraqi court frees French ISIS suspect it says went to Syria to ‘help Yezidis’

Iraqi court frees French ISIS suspect it says went to Syria to ‘help Yezidis’

2019/04/18 | 18:10

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)-

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraq’s terror court has released one of the French Islamic State (ISIS) suspects captured in Syria it had pledged to prosecute in a landmark deal that appeared to resolve the legal conundrum Western power faced with respect to their nationals who allegedly joined the extremist group. The unnamed suspect was released by the Karkh Investigative Court, which is specialized in terror cases, “due to lack of evidence,” the Supreme Judicial Council announced on Thursday. "The investigation of him continued for three months and it was proven that he had illegally entered into Syrian territory,” the council stated. In the investigation, they also found that “his military contribution to any military operation wasn't proven and his entry was to help the cause of the Yezidis triumph."The judicial council does not indicate how the investigation was conducted and what evidence was found that led them to their conclusion.In February, Iraqi President Barham Salih announced Iraq had received 13 French citizens who had been caught by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the US-backed force battling ISIS in northern Syria. The SDF are holding around 1,000 foreign fighters in northern Syria. They have refused to prosecute the foreigners and repeatedly urged governments to take responsibility for their nationals. Western nations, however, have been reluctant because of security concerns if they repatriate suspected terrorists, as well as worries they would not be able to collect evidence to secure prosecution in their home courts. Baghdad has stepped forward, offering to put the foreign fighters on trial, for a fee. Vian Dakhil, a Yezidi and former member of the Iraqi parliament, reacted to the announced release of the Frenchman, tweeting that she had many questions about the case. “We don’t know how and what he was doing with them. A journalist? NGOs? Just there watching the battles?” she asked. “I hope not all the ISIS members come out innocent. forbid.”ISIS committed genocide against the Yezidis, killing thousands of men and older persons when they swept across northern Iraq in 2014. The jihadists kidnapped and enslaved more than 6,000 Yezidi women and children. The fates of 2,992 of them are still unknown, according to the most recent figures from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)’s office of Yezidi affairs. The Iraqi government, with the support of the United Nations, has begun exhuming mass graves believed to hold the remains of hundreds of Yezidis executed by ISIS. 











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