Appeals Court drops all charges against Iraqi twins accused of terror massacre

The prosecution couldn't tell which brother might have appeared in an Isis execution propaganda video, and so unusually both twin brothers were charged.

File photo of judge holding documents / Credit: iStock

Judges at the Court of Appeal in Turku have unanimously dropped all charges against twin brothers from Iraq who were accused of being involved in a terror massacre.

Isis propaganda video from Tirkit in 2014 showed a red haired man shooting another man at close range as he lay on the ground, part of an Isis execution spree that left 11 people dead.

Unusually, because the prosecution couldn’t accurately identify which twin brother they thought had carried out the killings, both men – now aged 27 – were charged in the original 2017 court case, where they were eventually acquitted.

Later, prosecutors appealed to a higher court over the acquittal and began the task of trying to track down witnesses in Iraq to give video evidence.

Both men, who came to Finland as asylum seekers in 2015, denied their involvement in the massacre throughout the legal process. They were arrested the same year after tips from other Iraqis in Finland who told police the twins had been in the video.

At the appeal, which started last autumn, two witnesses said the men were not in Tikrit at the time of the massacre.

According to the court there was insufficient evidence to show the defendants were guilty of the alleged offenses, and all charges were dropped.