Thu, Feb 28, 2019 - Page 6 News List

Iraq saves France thorny repatriations of IS militants


“In their own countries, their lawyers could claim their clients were abducted in Syria,” which could hurt the prosecution’s case, the source said. “Trying them in Iraq guarantees these countries that this point won’t matter.”

Handing them over to Iraqi courts would also ensure “much tougher sentences,” the source added.

The 13 French nationals were brought to Iraq in parallel with the repatriation of 280 Iraqi IS members from Syria.

Fadel Abu Ragheef, a security advisor and strategic analyst, said there was more to come.

“There’s another wave of Iraqi and foreign jihadists that will arrive soon to Iraq,” he said.

However, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said any transfers should be completed in full transparency.

“When these transfers get done in the middle of the night with no one knowing, there’s no way to track these people,” HRW counterterrorism head Nadim Houry said, adding that he was concerned about a lack of due process in Iraqi courts and the possibility of abuse in its detention centers.

“Iraqi trials are rife with due process abuses, and the trials are not providing justice to the victims or information about the crimes,” Houry said. “It seems the West is still looking for someone to take that burden off of them without them engaging on the substance of the trials.”

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