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Finland Charges Two Migrants With Committing War Crimes In Iraq

A Finnish prosecutor said he has brought charges against two Iraqis suspected of war crimes in their home country in 2014 and 2015.

Helsinki District Court Prosecutor Juha-Mikko Hamalainen said on March 8 that the cases, which are not connected, involve two men under the age of 30 who arrived in Finland last fall as part of a migrant influx from war-torn Middle Eastern countries.

In both cases, the men are suspected of defiling the bodies of dead enemy soldiers, he said, declining to give further details. The court cases are expected to begin later this month.

Both men have denied the charges and claimed they fought against the Islamic State extremist group.

If found guilty, they face a maximum sentence of life in prison, but Hamalainen said any punishment likely would be light, resulting in a few years of jail.

Finland, a country of 5.4 million people, received some 32,000 asylum seekers last year, mostly Iraqis.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP

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