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Iraqi twins awarded €426,000 for wrongful imprisonment after massacre acquittal

The brothers who were accused of committing war crimes in Iraq were dismissed of all charges earlier this year.

kaksi miestä hovioikeuden edessä
The Iraqi brothers were cleared of all charges in February 2020. Image: Yle

The State Treasury has announced a compensation of 426,000 euros to Iraqi twins who were first convicted and then acquitted of involvement in a mass killing in Tikrit, Iraq, in 2014.

The identical twins arrived in Finland as asylum seekers in 2015. They were arrested in December that year on suspicion of involvement in the killings, following tip-offs from other Iraqi asylum seekers in Finland who had seen an Isis propaganda video showing the massacre.

In 2017, Pirkanmaa District Court in Tampere ruled that there was insufficient evidence to convict them. The Turku court of appeal dismissed all charges against the men in February 2020.

Room to contest decision

The brothers were detained and imprisoned for a total of 533 days. The State Treasury considered 400 euros per day to be reasonable compensation for their imprisonment — each will receive about 213,000 euros.

The average compensation for wrongful imprisonment in recent years has been 120 euros per day.

The brothers' lawyer Kaarle Gummerus said he is now considering appealing the compensation amount.

“The compensation was somewhat lower than what we applied for. We are now debating whether we will accept this or contest the decision,” Gummerus said.

The brothers have three months to raise an issue with the state if they do not agree with the Treasury’s decision.

Till date, Anneli Auer who had been accused of her husband’s murder and was later found innocent had received the largest daily compensation for wrongful imprisonment recorded Finland — a daily allowance of 800 euros amounting to a nearly half-a-million payout.

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