An American judge has issued a verdict that holds the Syrian Government responsible for the murder of US journalist Mary Colvin in 2012, while covering a military attack by the Syrian army, security and intelligence services on the city of Homs, working for the British newspaper the "Sunday Times"
The judgement ordered the Syrian Government to pay at least $ 302.5 million as compensation to Mary's sister, Kathleen Colvin, and her three children and the institution she works for, being responsible for the crimes of its military and security services. The judge Amy Birman Jackson said in her judgment that “the Syrian Government was involved in the killing of an American citizen outside the law”.
The civil case filed by the Colvin family in 2016 before a US federal court has accused Syrian military and security officials of deliberately firing several missiles at a "temporary broadcasting studio" that was the residence and workplace of Colvin and other Syrian and foreign journalists in Homs city.
"British photographer Paul Corney, a British artillery soldier who accompanied Mary Colvin on the day of her death, managed to survive the attack but had a leg injury”, the British newspaper The Guardian reported.
"Syrian journalists are being killed every day for seven years, and so today is a good day for justice”, Paul Corney was quoted as saying.
Dixon Osborn, the executive director of Justice and Accountability Center, which established the case on behalf of the Colvin family, said that the lawsuit was the first that sought to burden the "Government of Bashar al-Assad" with responsibility for war crimes, and after the case was filed, similar legal action in European countries, including Germany began.
"The attack on a media center with foreign journalists that killed two people and a number of injured people is unthinkable”, Judge Jackson said. The compensation met what is needed, plus additional compensation, with the total being calculated later.
President al-Assad has said in previous press statements that Colvin "bears responsibility for her death, because the country was at war, she came to Syria illegally, and worked with the terrorists".
It is noteworthy that the court said that Colvin, aged at the time of the death of 56 years, was deliberately killed in direct and specific targeting with French photographer Remi Ochlik in the besieged city of Homs in 2012.
Just before her death, Mary Colvin told Anderson Cooper on CNN in a live broadcast from a secret media center in the city of Homs, "It is full of lies made by the Syrian media of the Syrian regime, that they are only chasing terrorists. The Syrian Arab Army is simply bombing a city of besieged hungry civilians”. Soon after, the Syrian army fired a barrage of artillery shells at the media center, killing her with French photographer Remi Ochlik ...