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Inside the Alaa M. Trial #4: They certainly didn’t turn all the buildings around

Inside the Alaa M. Trial #4: They certainly didn’t turn all the buildings around

Extended summary from day 5 of the Alaa M. Trial

Higher Regional Court – Frankfurt, Germany

Trial Monitoring Summary #4

Hearing Date: February 8, 2022

CAUTION: Some testimony includes descriptions of torture.

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

Throughout this summary, [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.


Day 5 – February 8, 2022

The Judges’ questioning of the defendant continued and focused on the sketches of the military hospitals in Mazzeh and Homs that M. provided to the Court the previous week. However, there were some discrepancies between the sketches, as well as between the sketches and available satellite imagery. Some of the confusion was resolved, but the Judges decided to postpone the further questioning of M. on other topics until the following week because they felt that understanding the correct layout of each hospital might be pertinent to the trial at a later stage, so establishing the facts now would be helpful for later.

Trial Day 5 – February 8, 2022

The proceedings began at 10:10AM at the Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt (Main), Germany with several spectators and four journalists in the audience. One cameraman took videos inside the courtroom before the start of the session.

Judges’ Questioning

The Judges’ questioning focused on M.’s different CVs and work certificates that he submitted to different authorities. In answering the Judges’ questions, M. tried to explain why he provided contradictory and vague information in his CVs. Questioned about documents that one of his Defense Counsel submitted, M. explained to the Court that these documents were obtained through contacts in Syria. M. added that he, however, does not know where exactly the documents came from.

The Judges then heard from an interpreter who was tasked to translate some previously discussed documents in court. Since the interpreter had a hard time reading the documents in court, he was given better quality copies to conduct a separate translation.

Discussion of M.’s Sketches

M. was given copies of his pre-prepared sketches to make amendments if needed. There was a camera showing the document with sketches laying in front of M., enabling everyone inside the courtroom to follow his explanations. M. provided a total of eleven sketches that were all discussed in court, including M.’s initial descriptions, questions by the judges and other parties, and a comparison with relevant satellite imagery.

Proceedings were adjourned at 1:15PM.

The next trial day will take place on February 15, 2022.


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