Although the crimes in question primarily affected the Syrian community, it was initially impossible for most Syrians to follow the trial – the language of the court was German. Only after a constitutional complaint, which ECCHR supported, did accredited media representatives at least receive access to the simultaneous translations of the proceedings in Arabic that had been made available to the accused, as well as to the plaintiffs. However, ultimately most Arabic-speaking journalists continued to be excluded because they had not gone through the necessary accreditation process beforehand. It was a nonetheless a positive development that for both the trial of Eyad A and the trial of Anwar R, the court allowed the pronouncement of the verdict to be simultaneously translated.
Another point of criticism was that, in spite of multiple requests from civil society actors, the court refused to provide audio recordings of the proceedings. These could have furnished an important archive for commemorative, educational and research purposes for future generations.
Although enforced disappearance is one of the most emblematic crimes used by the Syrian regime to oppress the civilian population, it was not included among the charges – despite an urgent request by the joint plaintiffs.
In addition, the fact that both Anwar R and Eyad A had defected after working for the Syrian intelligence service, and had already disassociated themselves from the Assad regime before they were brought to trial in Germany, became a topic of controversial discussion. The court ultimately considered these circumstances as working in the favor of the defendants during the sentencing.