Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, better known as Mullah Krekar, was back in an Oslo courtroom on Monday, where he pleaded “not guilty” to charges that he once again has threatened Halmat Goran, another Kurd living in Norway. Krekar also seized the opportunity to stage a protest.
Armed with a banner written in broken English, Krekar demonstrated that he has now been in court 54 times since arriving as a refugee from Northern Iraq in 1991. He noted he has been charged 35 times over 13 years “without any rights.”
He also claimed he has spent 1,250 days (by his account) in prison for “threatening.” He called that “shameless” and asked “where are Human Rights?”
It was unclear what Krekar hoped to achieve with his protest, which amounted to him holding up his hand-written banner as he entered the courtroom and posed for photographers. When his trial got underway, he claimed that he only has referred to sharia law when saying that offenses like those he believed have been committed by Halmat Goran are can end with death sentences.
Krekar, a former guerrilla leader who has been deemed a threat to national security in Norway, also testified that he thinks Norwegian police and intelligence agents have fabricated cases against him for years. “All this (the various charges against him) is based on my appearance and my beard,” he claimed.
Norwegian authorities have continued efforts to send Krekar back to North Iraq, but won’t do so until they extract a guarantee that Krekar won’t be sentenced to death there himself.