Afghan acquitted of war crimes

26th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

26 June 2007, THE HAGUE (AP) - A Dutch court Monday acquitted a former high-ranking Afghan military intelligence officer of war crimes, citing insufficient evidence.

26 June 2007

THE HAGUE (AP) - A Dutch court Monday acquitted a former high-ranking Afghan military intelligence officer of war crimes, citing insufficient evidence.

The suspect, identified by prosecutors as Abdullah F., 57, was accused of torturing and overseeing the torture of suspects while he was acting chief of the agency Khad-e-Nezami during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1979-1989.

He fled his country in 1994 and was refused asylum in the Netherlands, but he remained illegally in the country.

He was arrested in October 2006 as part of a push by the Dutch government to prosecute potential war criminals under the "universal jurisdiction" principle, which says that every country has a duty to prosecute crimes against humanity regardless of where they took place.

In 2005, the same court convicted the agency's chief, Hesamuddin Hesam, and the head of its interrogation department, Habibullah Jalalzoy, of torture as a war crime and sentenced them 12 and 9 years.

But judges said in their written ruling Monday that testimony against Abdullah F. by two alleged victims was unreliable. In addition, they said he could not be held responsible for the actions of subordinates at times he temporarily headed the agency since it wasn't proved he had "effective control" over them.

[Copyright AP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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