State seeks five-year term for Krekar

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State prosecutors asked a court in Oslo on Tuesday to sentence Muslim cleric and former guerrilla leader Mullah Krekar to five years in prison, for making threats against several persons including former government minister Erna Solberg. They also want to seize Krekar’s computer.

Prosecutor Marit Bakkevik claimed Krekar should be convicted on all charges in his indictment, which also include planning terrorist acts and attempts to influence public authorities. The last charge can result in a prison term of up to 15 years.

‘Disregard for the law’
Krekar told foreign correspondents in Oslo in 2010 that if he is sent out of Norway and ends up being killed, for example back home in Iraq, that other Norwegian officials such as Solberg will suffer the same fate. That prompted one of Solberg’s fellow politicians, Siv Jensen, to file police charges against Krekar, leading to the trial against him that began earlier this month.

“Why in the world would he say that, if he didn’t want to remind the authorities that it could be dangerous to send him out of the country,” Bakkevig asked rhetorically in court. She claimed that Krekar has shown “utter disregard” and contempt for Norwegian law when he continues to make such statements.

Krekar hasn’t denied saying what he said, but denies they were actual threats. His defense attorneys argued that Krekar was merely describing likely consequences of a deportation ordered by Norway’s highest court several years, but which hasn’t been carried out because of fears Krekar will be sentenced to death in his native Iraq.

More threats on Facebook
Court proceedings on Tuesday were delayed after more alleged death threats claimed to be incited by Krekar were published on the social media site Facebook. They were made against other men who Krekar has railed against over the Internet, because they abandoned Islam.

Two of the plaintiffs in the current court case have had their names and photos posted on Facebook, accompanied by statements that imply they’ll by tortured or lynched. Krekar’s defense attorney Brynjar Meling claimed the threats made on Facebook needed to be investigated before being admitted as evidence, suggesting there was no proof they’d been incited by Krekar.

Krekar first came to Norway as a refugee around 20 years ago and has stirred controversy for the past decade. One of the prosecutors on Tuesday described him as a “conflict entrepreneur” who seems keen on creating dangerous situations.

Krekar currently lives at a secret location in Oslo after his former apartment was the target of a shooting. He has conceded that he has some gratitude for the support and protection he has received in Norway for years.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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