Europe

Ex-Iraqi soldier tells German court he held heads on orders

A former Iraqi army soldier has admitted at the start of his war-crimes trial in Germany that he posed for a photo holding the severed heads of two Islamic State fighters killed in combat, but said he was only following orders.

Rami K., whose last name wasn't given in line with German privacy laws, told the Berlin state court Wednesday that if he hadn't held up the heads while serving with the Iraqi military in 2015 he would have been executed himself, the dpa news agency reported.

The 28-year-old was charged in August after the photograph was found on his tablet computer.

The suspect, who came to Germany as an asylum-seeker at the end of 2015, faces a minimum one year in prison if convicted.