Sentences of Afghan intelligence officers upheld 29 Jan 2007
The Hague Court of Appeal has confirmed the prison sentences of Hesamuddin Hesam and Habibullah Jalalzoy.

On 29 January 2007, the Hague Court of Appeal confirmed the Hague District Court's sentences of Hesamuddin Hesam and Habibullah Jalalzoy, who were sentenced to twelve and nine years' imprisonment respectively. They are convicted for the torture of prisoners in Afghanistan in the 1980s and 1990s. While the sentences remained unchanged, the Court of Appeal found the accused guilty on (slightly) different grounds than the District Court. The  Court of Appeal found Hesam guilty of complicity to torture and violations of the laws and customs of war and Jalalzoy of complicity to violations of the laws and customs of war. Hesam was the head of the military intelligence service, the KhAD-e-Nezami, and deputy minister of the Ministry of State Security (WAD); Jalalzoy was the head of the interrogation department of the KhAD-e-Nezami.

The Court of Appeal found that three people had been tortured with the purpose of inducing confessions from the victims who were all political opponents of the then ruling regime. The Court also found that this was a regular practice within the military intelligence service. It added that torture as a crime of war causes indignation throughout the international community. The cases had an impact on the Dutch legal order because both Hesam and Jalalzoy fled to the Netherlands where many of the KhAD-e-Nezami's victims also reside.

The judges found that their acts demonstrated complete disregard for human rights and fundamental freedoms and showed a reprehensible lack of respect for human dignity. This counted strongly against Hesam, in particular, because of his prominent position in Afghan society. The Court of Appeal also found that neither Hesam nor Jalalzoy understood the reprehensibility of their acts.

Appeal Judgement Heshamuddin Hesam (only available in Dutch)
Appeal Judgement Habibullah Jalalzoy (only available in Dutch)

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Relevant Court Documents:

Trial Judgement Habibullah Jalalzoy
Trial Judgement Heshamuddin Hesam

Other Dutch Domestic decisions involving international criminal law:

Frans van Anraat
Guus Kouwenhoven