Two Swedes have been handed life sentences on terrorism charges by a Swedish court for the killing of two people in Syria. The defendants, aged 30 and 32, denied the charges and said they were not even at the location near Aleppo where two men had their throats cut in 2013.
Key evidence in the case included video clips showing how the victims were surrounded by other men, forced to kneel, and then killed. The District Court in the western coastal city of Gothenburg ruled that the two “acted jointly” with others to “instil serious fear” among sections of the population in Syria, and in other countries where fighters believe the proper form of Islam is not practised.
The younger man was initially investigated by police over extortion. During a house search, police found the video clips in which the two victims, apparently civilians, had their throats slit.
Neither of the convicted men was holding the knife but they were cheering the killings. Agnetha Hilding Qvarnstrom described the events in the video as the most horrific acts she had seen during her 28-year career as prosecutor. “What we see are humans being killed in an extremely atrocious and bestial way,” Qvarnstrom said.