For allegedly offering sanctuary to a suspected Syrian war criminal at the request of Israel’s Mossad intelligence organization, five former Austrian officials are currently on trial.
Five former Austrian officials have gone on trial in Vienna for allegedly granting asylum to a suspected Syrian war criminal, Khaled Halabi, at the request of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency. Halabi, a former Syrian general who led the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate in Raqqa from 2009-2013, fled to France when rebel forces captured Raqqa in 2013. The five former officials, four of whom are former intelligence officials and one a former asylum agency official, are accused of abusing their positions by bringing Halabi to Austria in 2015 and arranging asylum for him. Prosecutors allege the former officials breached their duties to provide information about Halabi’s whereabouts and identity. The Mossad allegedly recruited Halabi, a member of the Druze minority in Syria, as an informant. The trial is scheduled to run through next Friday.