First Afghan war crimes trial targeted Communist-era intelligence chief

On December 26, 2005, the first war crimes trial in Afghanistan's history began. The trial followed the arrest of former Afghan intelligence chief Assadullah Sarwari on charges of involvement in the arrest, torture and mass killing of over 400 regime opponents during his year in that position. After initially struggling to find a lawyer and eventually representing himself, Sarwari was convicted on February 23, 2006, and sentenced to death. Controversial legislation providing amnesty to individuals from war crimes convictions without allegations from a set victim was passed in Afghanistan in March 2007.


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