French court sentences 3 Syrian officials to life in prison in absentia for war crimes

PARIS (AP) — A Paris court sentenced three high-ranking Syrian officials in absentia to life in prison Friday for complicity in war crimes in a landmark case against the regime of Syria’s President Bashar Assad and the first such case on European soil.

The trial focused on the officials’ role in the alleged arrest, torture and killing in 2013 in Damascus of Mazen Dabbagh, a Franco-Syrian father, and his son Patrick. The four-day trial featured harrowing testimonies from survivors and searing accounts from Mazen’s brother.

Though cathartic for many, observers in France say the verdict is essentially toothless. Since 2018, international arrest warrants have been issued for the three sentenced officials: Ali Mamlouk, Jamil Hassan, and Abdel Salam Mahmoud

The Associated Press