France’s Ambassador to Iraq, Bruno Aubert, has discussed with head of Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council Judge Faiq Zaidan the fate of French ISIS members, like reported by aawsat.com.
Aubert and Zaidan discussed efforts to strike a judicial agreement between Iraq and France, a Council statement said.
In February, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) handed over to the Iraqi authorities 14 French nationals accused of fighting for ISIS.
Iraqi President Barham Salih later announced that they will be tried in Iraq in accordance with the Iraqi law.
“Aubert discussed with Zaidan the issue of the 14 Frenchmen arrested by the Iraqi authorities in an intelligence operation,” an official familiar with the matter told Asharq Al-Awsat.
The official, who asked not to be identified, said the suspects are being prosecuted in Iraq because the crimes they have committed fall under the jurisdiction of Iraqi courts.
He explained that France wants to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Iraqi government to repatriate the militants.
“Iraq’s Penal Code has defined mechanisms for dealing with crime and its perpetrators, both in Iraq and abroad,” legal expert Ahmed Abadi told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“Iraq has no jurisdiction over crimes committed outside its territories, except for ISIS militants,” he said, explaining that the crimes committed by such extremists has repercussions on Iraq’s national security.
Iraqi ISIS members are subject to Iraqi law whether they committed their crimes in Iraq or Syria, Abadi added.
However, he noted that foreigners, who have not been accused of terror-related crimes, cannot be prosecuted by Iraq unless they commit a crime inside the country.
Separately, the Iraqi ministry of interior declared that federal police discovered an ISIS hideout in Kirkuk’s southern village of Khzefiya where they found 42 rockets.
Leader of Al-Wataniya Coalition Iyad Allawi warned that ISIS has started to follow new tactics since the collapse of its so-called “caliphate.”
He said he has previously warned of the militants’ insurgency campaign.
Allawi also expressed regret that Iraq continues to have an environment that is incapable of uprooting terrorism.