March 8, 2016 / 6:23 PM / a year ago

Finland charges two Iraqi men with war crimes

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Two Iraqi men have been charged with war crimes by Finnish prosecutors, the Helsinki prosecutor's office said on Tuesday.

The men are charged in connection with incidents that took place in Iraq in 2014 and 2015 and involved the desecration of bodies, according to Juha-Mikko Hamalainen, the Helsinki district prosecutor in charge. The incidents were not related, he said.

The charges were based on images and information found on the internet, Hamalainen said. Both suspects have denied any wrongdoing.

"Both of the men said they had fought against Islamic State," Hamalainen said. He declined to say which forces they had served with.

Both men came to Finland last year. Hamalainen declined to say whether the suspects were seeking asylum. More than 32,000 people sought asylum in Finland last year, most of them from Iraq.

In December, Finnish police arrested two Iraqi men on suspicion of shooting 11 unarmed prisoners in Iraq in 2014 in killings that were filmed by Islamic State.

Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl, editing by Larry King

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