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Former Afghan secret police chiefs go on trial in the Netherlands

[JURIST] Dutch prosecutors Monday began to present their case against two former leaders of the Afghanistan secret police, charging Hesamuddin Hesam and Habibullah Jalalzoy [Afghan Justice Project backgrounder] with a litany of war crimes. Both men were officers in the Khad [Wikipedia backgrounder], a group established and monitored by the KGB when the nation was under the control of a Soviet-backed regime [Human Rights Watch backgrounder] in the 1980s, and have been living in the Netherlands for years on rejected asylum applications. Prosecutors contend that Jalalzoy and Hesam tortured political opponents during their tenure with the Khad; the case was brought under a Dutch universal jurisdiction [Wikipedia backgrounder] law that enables Dutch judges to try asylum seekers for war crimes and crimes and against humanity committed in their home countries. The trial is expected to end later this month. Reuters has more.

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