Terror defendants lose on appeal

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Three men charged with planning terrorist attacks in Norway were found guilty by an appeals court in Oslo on Thursday. All three men came to Norway as refugees, were arrested on terror charges in 2010 and now face several more years in prison.

One of the men, Mikael Davud , was sentenced to seven years in prison. Davud, a Uighur formerly known as Muhammed Rashidin, was viewed as the leader of the group and had claimed himself that he wanted to attack the Chinese Embassy in Oslo.

Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak, an Iraqi Kurd who came to Norway in 1999 as did Davud, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison. Both men were found guilty of actually planning terrorist attacks against the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and its artist Kurt Westergaard.

The third defendant, David Jakobsen, had been acquitted by the Oslo City Court but was found guilty by the appeals court jury after his acquittal was appealed by the prosecution. The judges in the case, however, set aside their guilty verdict, meaning that his case must be tried again in the appeals curt known as Borgarting lagmannsrett.

The terror convictions of Bujak and Davud in February were the first in Norway, and their arrests stirred international interest in the summer of 2010. They were also convicted of buying hydrogen peroxide, which can be used in making a bomb.

Davud had confessed to plans to blow up China’s embassy in Oslo, saying he had personal motives and only used the two other men as helpers, claiming they weren’t aware of his plans. Bujak, however, had earlier told police that he and Davud planned a terrorist attack against Jyllands-Posten  and Westergaard because they were angry over Westergaard’s cartoons of the prophet Mohammed and the newspaper’s decision to print them. Jakobsen, originally from Uzbekistan, was portrayed as an assistant to the plans but he eventually tipped Norway’s police intelligence unit PST and acted as an informant. His cooperation with the police had figured into his acquittal earlier this year.

Davud’s defense attorney told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that his client would likely file an appeal to Norway’s Supreme Court as would Bujkak. The latter argues he was duped into the plans, while Jakobsen’s case is pending.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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