Norway’s ‘other’ terrorists file appeal

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UPDATED: Mikael Davud, sentenced last week to seven years in prison in Norway for planning a terrorist attack, has decided to appeal his conviction. One of his two partners was also sentenced to prison in what were called “historic” court rulings, and he’s appealing, too.

Davud and Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak, both of whom came to Norway as refugees, are the first to be convicted on charges of terrorist association in Norway. They were arrested in July 2010 and ultimately put on trial for planning terrorist attacks against the Danish newspaper Jyllandsposten and/or its artist Kurt Westergaard. The attacks allegedly were planned in response to the newspaper’s publication of Westergaard’s cartoons that many Muslims find offensive.

A third man now known as David Jakobsen was also charged in the case but acquitted of actually planning terrorist attacks. He was convicted, though, as an accomplice because he aided Davud in acquiring hydrogen peroxide that could be used to produce explosives.

Davud, formerly known as Muhammed Rashidin, is a Uighur from western China who came to Norway in 1999 and was granted Norwegian citizenship in 2007. Bujak is an Iraqi Kurd who also arrived in Norway in 1999 and later obtained permanent residence, while Jakobsen, formerly known as Abdulaif Alisjer, is originally from Uzbekistan and came to Norway as an asylum seeker in 2002.

Prosecutors in the case, which involved participation of terrorism investigators from the US, UK and other countries, had sought sentences of 11 years for Davud and five years for Bujak and Jakobsen. Their defense attorneys argued that all should be acquitted and Davud’s attorney, Carl Konow Reiber-Mohn, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Monday morning that he’d be filing an appeal on behalf of Davud.

Another defense attorney, Arild Humlen, told NRK that Davud claims there’s no evidence he had any agreements, as alleged, with terrorist organization al-Qaida, nor did he have any pact with Bujak. Humlen also said the defendants don’t believe any terrorist acts were involved and that a seven-year jail term for Davud was too long.

“He believes the conviction is unfair, and is sorry he wasn’t believed, that his purchases (of potential explosives) were to be used against the Chinese Embassy in the fight for Uighur rights,” Humlen told NRK.

Bujak also decided to appeal, while Jakobsen has accepted his four-month term. All the defendants are receiving credit for time already spent in custody, which amounts to 606 days for Davud and Bujak and 132 days for Jakobsen.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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