The Iraqi twin brothers
In June 2014, 1’700 young recruits of Iraqi army, who only had a basic military training and who were not carrying weapons, were arrested at Speicher Camp near Tikrit (Iraq) by members of the Islamic State in Iraq.
The young recruits were forced to lie on the floor and were killed one by one.
It is reported that the Iraqi twin brothers killed 11 of the 1’700 victims.
In September 2015, the 23 years old twin brothers entered to Finland as asylum seekers. They were arrested and detained in December 2015 in Forssa (Finland) by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for their alleged role in the Speicher massacre. They are charged with murder and war crimes for allegedly killing unarmed cadets, as well as for aggravated assault with terrorist aims.
This procedure was initiated after the dissemination by the terrorist organisation “Islamic State” of a video depicting the murders. In this propaganda video, the twin brothers appear with a discovered face.
On 8 July 2015, a trial about the Speicher Camp’s slaughter took place in an Iraqi court. During the trial, 24 of the 28 defendants were sentenced to death.
On 13 December 2016, their trial opened before the Finish jurisdictions. The prosecution was seeking for a life sentence.
On 24 May 2017, the District Court of Pirkanmaa acquitted the Iraqi twin brothers for lack of evidence. They were allocated a compensation for their pre-trial detention. The two accused were allowed to reside in Finland. The prosecution appealed this judgement.
The appeal hearings started on 11 September 2018 but were postponed until further notice due to arrangements regarding hearings of witnesses in Iraq. The Court of Appeal decided that the main hearings would not be formally opened before these witnesses had been heard “outside the main hearing”.
In September 2019 prosecution and defense witnesses were heard in Iraq, in the presence of a defense lawyer and the prosecutor. The court and the accused were in Finland and followed the hearings through videoconference.