Krekar sentenced to new jail term

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Mullah Krekar, the former refugee from northern Iraq who later was deemed a threat to national security in Norway, has been handed another jail term on Wednesday for making more threats of his own. The Oslo City Court sentenced Krekar to prison for another year for trying to influence witnesses and encouraging criminal acts.

Mullah Krekar has been in trouble for years, but Norwegian authorities can't legally send him back to Iraq because they have no guarantee he won't be executed there. PHOTO: Views and News

Krekar already faces fives years in prison after being found guilty earlier this year of threatening Norwegian politicians including Erna Solberg, the head of the Conservative Party (Høyre) who now is a Member of Parliament. As a former government minister in charge of immigration issues, Krekar has held Solberg responsible for long-standing deportation orders and for an earlier court ruling that he’s a threat to national security, mostly because of messages he issues over the Internet that justify violence through his interpretation of Sharia law.

In June 2010, he told a group of foreign correspondents in Oslo that if he is sent back to Iraq and executed for his guerrilla activities in the 1990s, then people responsible for his deportation could also be killed. He specifically mentioned Solberg’s name.

Now he faces another year in prison after making more alleged threats even while charged in the other case. The threats made were directed at both Muslim opponents whom he felt had diverged from Islamic faith and at a former Norwegian prime minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik. Norway’s police intelligence agency PST claimed Krekar once again had also made threats against the Norwegian people.

‘No doubt … (of) encouragement to commit murder’
Prosecutors had sought an extra 18-month jail term but the court settled on one year. According to the ruling reported by Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), the court “has, after an overall evaluation, decided there is no doubt that the defendant’s messages much be interpreted as encouragement to commit murder or restrict the movements of Norwegians especially, but also other individuals or groups.” The court also emphasized that Krekar has encouraged “terrorist acts” in a case where he’s charged with making threats against the authorities.

Krekar, who has consistently defended himself by saying he merely clarifies what’s allowed under Sharia law, is already in prison after being ordered held in custody after the latest charges were brought against him in March. The court agreed with PST that there was a danger Krekar would commit more such offenses if allowed to go free.

Krekar, who also has argued for his right to freedom of expression in Norway, is expected to appeal the new verdict against him and it reportedly would be handled along with his earlier appeal of the five-year jail term. He was acquitted of other charges that he physically attacked a news photographer for TV2.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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