Feb. 24 (UPI) -- A Syrian man accused of aiding in the torture of dozens of people early during the country's civil war was found guilty in a historic verdict on Wednesday and sent to prison.
The man, Eyad al-Gharib, was convicted and sentenced by a regional court in Koblenz in Germany. The court gave him four and a half years in prison.
The verdict is the first of its kind for a court outside of Syria related to accusations of crimes against humanity against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Al-Gharib, 44, was a member of Assad's General Intelligence Directorate and prosecutors said he facilitated the tortures of at least 30 Syrian dissidents, beginning in 2011. He ultimately fled to Germany, where he was arrested in 2019.
The crimes against al-Gharib occurred early in Syria's civil war when Assad began to crack down on dissident demonstrations.
Authorities were able to try al-Gharib by using a legal provision that allowed them jurisdiction to prosecute serious crimes involving defendants physically inside Germany.
Another landmark verdict in the case is expected this year for Anwar Raslan, a member of Assad's government who's accused directly in the deaths of dozens of people and the tortures of thousands more.