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Iraqi jihadist handed life sentence for Yazidi genocide

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By Euronews  with AFP
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The Iraqi Taha Al-J. is led into the courtroom at Frankfurt's Higher Regional Court before the verdict is pronounced Frankfurt, Germany, Nov. 30, 2021.
The Iraqi Taha Al-J. is led into the courtroom at Frankfurt's Higher Regional Court before the verdict is pronounced Frankfurt, Germany, Nov. 30, 2021.   -   Copyright  Frank Rumpenhorst/(c) dpa-Pool

An Iraqi from the Islamic State jihadist group was sentenced by a German court for genocide over the murder of Yazidis.

The Frankfurt court judges found Taha Al-Jumailly "guilty of genocide, of a crime against humanity resulting in death".

This is the first time that a court has ruled that the atrocities committed against the Yazidis amount to genocide, already recognised as such by UN investigators.

Prosecutors said the former IS member and his wife enslaved a Yazidi girl and her mother in Iraq. He then left the young girl chained in the open sun where he let her die of heat and malnourishment.

It was punishment for having wet the bed, prosecutors say. The child's mother testified at the trial.

Jennifer W. was convicted in a separate trial in Munich for failing to undertake any steps to prevent the child's murder.

Speaking ahead of the verdict, lawyer Natia Navrouzov, legal advocacy director at global Yazidi NGO Yazda, told Euronews that it would be a milestone for the court to determine a former IS member committed genocide.

"Of course we know IS committed genocide against the Yazidi. But in every trial, you have to prove that this particular person had the intent to commit genocide against the Yazidis. And I think that's always very hard to prove," Navrouzov said.

A UN team investigating the genocide told the Security Council in May that IS had tried to destroy the Yazidi, executing thousands and enslaving thousands more.

Yazidi women and children were abducted and subject to rape and sexual violence, investigators said.