Migrants get inside a police vehicle after being apprehended by the Serbian border police, having illegally entered the country from Macedonia, near the town of Presevo some 238 miles Belgrade, July 17, 2013. Reuters

A Syrian migrant, who reportedly bragged about shooting unarmed soldiers loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad, went on trial in Austria Wednesday, charged with murder in the context of terrorism.

The alleged deaths occurred in Homs, Syria. If convicted, the unidentified 27-year-old could face life in prison, but defense lawyers were trying to reduce the penalty, arguing the defendant was “severely traumatized at the time,“ the BBC reported.

The man allegedly bragged to other asylum-seekers about shooting unarmed government soldiers, Austrian media reported. He allegedly committed the act when he was fighting with an Islamist rebel group, the Farouq Brigade, which is linked to the Free Syrian Army. The man was arrested in a Western Austria refugee camp in June, shortly after a fellow Syrian denounced him, prompting an investigation, reports said.

Austria is unable to send the man to face charges in Syria because of the ongoing six-year civil war, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and forced more than 11 million people from their homes. Currently, 4.9 million Syrians are refugees, and 6.1 million are displaced within Syria, according to World Vision.

This is the first time Austria has charged someone outside of its country for a crime allegedly committed elsewhere.

Under the Geneva Convention, which is also known as Humanitarian Law of Armed Conflicts, killing injured soldiers is prohibited. The purpose of the law is to protect “individuals who become victims of armed conflicts,” which in the end, disables them from fighting. Since the alleged victims were uninjured, the alleged actions amount to an act of terrorism, opening the way for prosecution under international counterterrorism agreements.

Homs is one of the largest cities in Syria, with a population of approximately 775,404, according to statistics. In contrast, Austria is a small country of only 8.4 million people in the middle of Europe.