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Inside the Alaa M. Trial #2 : “I would have never done anything like that!”

Inside the Alaa M. Trial #2 : “I would have never done anything like that!”

Higher Regional Court – Frankfurt, Germany

Trial Monitoring Report 2

Hearing Date: January 19, 2022

CAUTION: Some testimony includes descriptions of torture.

Note that this report is not a verbatim transcript of the trial; it is merely an unofficial summary of the proceedings.

Throughout this report, [information located in brackets are notes from our trial monitor] and “information placed in quotes are statements made by the witness, judges or counsel.” The names of witnesses have been redacted.

Summaries/Highlights:

Day 2 – January 25, 2022

The Defendant agreed to answer questions on the subject matter of the trial. According to M., he did not support the Syrian government and only tried to live a decent life within the existing power structures. He also told the Court that he disagreed with the use of violence by both sides during the early demonstrations. However, “the line was crossed when protestors said ‘take the Alawites to the coffins and the Christians to Beirut.’”

Questioned about his work at military hospitals in Syria, M. explained to the Court that he was unable to disobey orders from the military intelligence officers out of fear of being detained as well. Nonetheless, he said that he felt sorry for the military intelligence detainees who were taken to the Military Hospital in Homs who showed signs of beating, were handcuffed, and were often blindfolded. According to M., he never tortured anyone at the Military Hospital in Homs, and never conducted a surgery without sufficient anesthesia since it was not his job to take care of anesthesia and because he would have never done such a thing anyway. He also told the Court that he had never been to Branch 261 about which he allegedly only learned from the indictment.

The Judges indicated that M. provided a “theory” to the Investigative Judge at the German Federal Court of Justice, providing his own explanation of how and why the charges at heart of this trial were brought against him. M. is supposed to elaborate on this theory in Court during one of the following sessions when he will also be questioned on several different versions of his curriculum vitae.

Day 3 – January 27, 2022

The second day of the Judges’ questioning of the defendant on the subject matter focused on the time between late 2011 and early 2013. When confronted with a witness’ accusations that M. tortured and mistreated patients at Homs Military Hospital in late 2012 by using medical instruments, M. denied having been there at this time and told the Court that he “would have never tortured anyone using [medical] instruments because they are very expensive and since [he] needed a ‘debt-free letter’ at the end of [his] service, [he] would have never caused property damage on these instruments.”

The questioning of M. on the subject matter of the trial will continue in the next trial session when he is also supposed to provide sketches of the military Hospitals in Homs and Al-Mazzeh to the Court.

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