Hungary charges Syrian ISIS suspect with imam beheading
Hungarian prosecutors on Tuesday (September 3rd) charged a Syrian man arrested in Budapest last year of terrorism and crimes against humanity including the beheading of an imam in Syria in 2015.
According to a statement from the Budapest Chief Prosecution Office, prosecutors are seeking life imprisonment without parole for the 27-year-old man, identified as F. Hassan.
The authorities believe he commanded a small unit of the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) in Homs province in 2015 tasked with terrorising and executing civilians and religious leaders who refused to side with the terror group.
He is accused of personally taking part in the beheading of an imam in the town of al-Sukhnah, as well as the murders of three other people in the area between May 13th and 15th in 2015.
His unit also killed at least 25 people in the town during the period, including women and children, according to the prosecutors' statement.
Authorities in Malta, Greece and Belgium, as well as in Hungary, took part in the investigation, which was co-ordinated by the European judicial co-operation agency Eurojust.
The man, who had been given refugee status in Greece, was held at Budapest airport on December 30th after he presented forged travel documents for himself and a female travel partner.
His defence lawyer has said that prosecutors' evidence including wire-tapped telephone calls, video footage of the murders, and the suspect's own statements fail to support the accusations.