Verdict expected in case of ISIS member accused of Yazidi genocide

Taha Al J is on trial in Germany for the murder of a 5-year-old girl in Fallujah six years ago

CORRECTION / The Iraqi defendant, identified only as Taha al-J., believed to have belonged to the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, hides his face before the start of his trial in which he is accused of genocide and murdering a young Yazidi girl, he held as a slave, on April 24, 2020 at the Higher Regional Court (OLG) in Frankfurt am Main. The 27-year-old Iraqi man is also accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes and human trafficking in the case, heard before Frankfurt judges. His wife, a German woman, has been on trial for a year at a Munich court. She too is charged with murdering the young Yazidi girl who the pair are believed to have allowed to die of thirst in the Iraqi city of Fallujah in 2015. / AFP / POOL / Arne Dedert

The landmark trial of an Iraqi ISIS member accused of genocide against the Yazidi community is to conclude on Tuesday in Frankfurt, Germany.

Prosecutors accuse Taha Al J of enslaving a 5-year-old Yazidi girl called Rania and allowing her to die when she was tied up outside in the scorching Fallujah heat in the summer of 2015.

A key witness in the trial has been Rania’s mother, who Taha Al J is also accused of keeping as a slave and abusing.

Although German courts have already convicted ISIS members who returned to Germany for crimes against the Yazidis, Tuesday’s judgment could be the first time that a court decides that what happened to the community is genocide.

About 10,000 Yazidis were killed when ISIS swept through northern Iraq in 2014. Around 7,000 women and girls were enslaved.

Taha Al J is believed to have joined ISIS in early 2013 but was arrested in Greece in May 2019. He is accused of purchasing and beating Rania and her mother, and depriving them of food.

They were kidnapped in the summer of 2014 after ISIS invaded the Sinjar region of Iraq.

Last month, Taha Al J’s wife Jennifer Wenisch was jailed for 10 years by a Munich court for the death of Rania on charges of crimes against humanity and membership of a terrorist organisation.

The Yazda rights group says Taha Al J tied Rania up outside in 45°C as a punishment for wetting the bed.

He is being tried on charges of genocide and murder.

He is also accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes and human trafficking.

Updated: November 29th 2021, 3:16 PM