Austria proposes UN-style tribunals for European IS fighters

Austria's interior minister Herbert Kickl on Wednesday proposed the creation of UN-style tribunals in the Middle East to deal with people who had left Austria and other EU countries to join IS, rather than bringing them back home for prosecution. “I have turned to the three EU commissioners responsible with the request that this be made into a pan-European project,” Kickl said, adding that Germany, Sweden and Finland support the idea.

So far it is not clear how to proceed with militants captured in Syria and other IS strongholds. Kickl believes they are “ticking time bombs”.

He said it would be cheaper and more efficient to organize trials in the Middle East at special tribunals rather than hold individual trials in various European countries."Just imagine, you would have to fly in witnesses from Iraq, Syria and elsewhere for a trial in Austria," Kickl said, adding that Austria was capable of trying these people but that would be more complicated."If the European Commission can support it and if we can agree on cooperation with the UN we will use what was done in Rwanda as a model," Kickl said, apparently referring to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, a UN body based in the Tanzanian city of Arusha.

A government spokesman said Kickl's proposal was supported by both Kickl's far-right Freedom Party and Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's conservatives, which together have taken a hard line on immigration and law-and order issues.



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