The Paris Court of Appeal Rejects Functional Immunity of Former Syrian Central Bank Governor Adib Mayaleh


In a ruling handed down on June 5, the Paris Court of Appeal has confirmed the inapplicability of functional immunities in the case of international crimes. The Court refused to grant the immunity claimed by Adib Mayaleh, who is under investigation for complicity in crimes against humanity and war crimes. 

The Paris Court of Appeal held that “these international crimes cannot be covered by the principle of immunity and allow impunity for their perpetrators.” With this ruling, the Paris Court of Appeal endorses the position of the War Crimes Unit of the Paris Judicial Court, whose investigating judges have already issued 10 arrest warrants against senior Syrian officials, on the grounds that functional immunities cannot hinder the prosecution of international crimes. 

“This decision is the result of a long legal battle waged by our organizations and by Syrian victims to ensure that those allegedly responsible for international crimes cannot escape justice under the pretext of immunity,” explains Mazen Darwish, General Director of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression, a civil party to the proceedings. “This is essential to enable victims, and particularly Syrian victims, to have hope of obtaining justice before the only jurisdictions available to date: those of third countries.” 

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