Dutch court: Syrian guilty of war crime in prisoner shooting

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A Dutch court convicted a Syrian man Friday of committing a war crime in his country for his role in the 2012 summary execution of a prisoner. The court sentenced the man to 20 years in prison.

The case marked the first time a Dutch court has dealt with allegations of war crimes committed in Syria. Dutch law allowed the court in The Hague to take the case because the 49-year-old defendant lives in the Netherlands. He was granted asylum in the Netherlands in 2014.

He was convicted in the shooting of a captured Syrian army soldier in Mohassan. The Dutch court said the defendant played a leading role in the shooting and was the first to open fire on soldier.

The court acquitted the man, whose name was not made public, of involvement in a terrorist organization.

Dutch prosecutors said during the trial that the army of Syrian President Bashar Assad also was responsible for war crimes.

“The legitimacy of resistance against the Assad regime is not in question,” the prosecutors said in a statement. “This case is about the legitimacy of the form of the resistance.”