France prepares to try 3 Damascus government officials

Next Tuesday, the French Criminal Court in Paris is scheduled to hold a trial in absentia of three high-ranking security officials in the Damascus government on charges of “complicity in committing crimes against humanity” involving two French-Syrians.

France prepares to try 3 Damascus government officials
19 May 2024   17:28

Next Tuesday, a trial in absentia will begin before the Paris Criminal Court for three high-ranking security officials in the Damascus government, accused of “complicity in committing crimes against humanity and war crimes against the backdrop of the killing of two French-Syrian nationals who were arrested in 2013.”

According to the International Federation for Human Rights, the measures aim to “try the highest officials in the regime since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in March 2011” against Bashar al-Assad.

The trial in absentia in Paris includes 3 defendants: the former director of the National Security Office, Ali Mamlouk, the former director of Air Force Intelligence, Jamil Hassan, and the former director of the Investigation Branch of Air Force Intelligence, Abdul Salam Mahmoud.

The Criminal Court panel will include 3 judges without jurors, and the hearing sessions scheduled over a period of 4 days will be photographed to be preserved in the judicial archives.

For the first time in the Paris Criminal Court, Arabic translation will be made available to the public.

The case is linked to the two victims, Patrick Al-Dabbagh and his father, Mazen. Patrick (born in 1993) was a student at the College of Arts and Human Sciences in Damascus, while his father (born in 1956) was the main educational consultant at the French School in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

The two were arrested in November 2013 by members who said they were from the Air Force Intelligence Service of the Damascus government.

According to Mazen's brother-in-law, who was arrested at the same time and then released two days later, the two men, who hold French and Syrian nationalities, were transferred to Mezzeh Airport near Damascus, which is described as one of the worst torture centers of the Damascus government.

After that, there were no indications that they were alive, until their death was announced in August 2018.

According to the death certificates sent to the family, Patrick died on January 21, 2014, and Mazen died on November 25, 2017.

In the indictment, the investigating judges considered it “sufficiently established” that the two men “suffered, like thousands of detainees held by Air Force Intelligence, from torture so severe that they died as a result of it.”

T/ Satt.