France Approves of Trials in Iraq for French Islamic State Fighters

French foreign minister says that adults detained in Iraq must be tried by the Iraqi justice system, as soon as it declares itself competent

Suspected Islamic State militants wait for sentencing at the counter-terrorism court, Baghdad, May 23, 2018.
Maya Alleruzzo,AP

France's foreign affairs ministry says the Iraqi court that sentenced three French citizens to death for being members of the Islamic State group has jurisdiction to rule in the case.

The ministry spokeswoman, Agnès von der Mühll, said on Monday that IS "terrorists must answer for their crimes in court."

The three were the first French IS members to receive death sentences in Iraq, where they were transferred for trial from neighboring Syria.

Von der Mühll says France's position is that adults detained in Iraq must be tried by the Iraqi justice system, as soon as it declares itself competent.

She added that "France respects the sovereignty of Iraqi authorities" though she expressed her country's opposition to the death penalty, "in principle, at all times and in all places."