World

Suspected Syrian militia leader goes on trial in Germany

A Syrian man has gone on trial in Germany for allegedly leading a militia in Syria that was responsible for torture and killings.

The dpa news agency reported Monday that the 42-year-old man, whose nom de guerre was Abu Dhib, or "Father of the Wolf," faces possible life imprisonment if convicted in Duesseldorf state court of war crimes.

The suspect, whose name wasn't released according to privacy regulations, was arrested in April 2016 in Muenster after one of his alleged victims from Syria recognized him there and told authorities.

Prosecutors say his victims included supporters of President Bashar Assad, suspected spies, Kurds and people seen as "nonbelievers" in Islam.

He made no statement as the trial opened, but his attorney Martin Heising says there are "considerable contradictions" in witness statements.