A 34-year-old Norwegian man from the small town of Verdal in Trøndelag was sentenced on Tuesday to seven years and three months in jail, after being convicted of joining the terror organization ISIL and planning terrorist attacks with ISIL members.
The appeals court ruling is three months shorter than a sentence handed down last November by the Oslo city court (Oslo Tingrett). The ruling by the Borgarting lagmannsrett determined that defendant Kristian Michelsen was under ISIL orders during his entire time in Syria, from 2014 until 2016, and was convinced that Michelsen was part of an ISIL military group.
Michelsen, who traveled to Syria in 2014 to fight for ISIL, is likely to appeal to Norway’s highest court on the grounds that he’d written to friends and family in Norway that he wanted to leave ISIL and return home, and started planning for that. He later ran away from ISIL and was arrested and imprisoned in Turkey at the end of April 2016.
He was later deported to Norway and arrested upon his arrival at Oslo’s main airport at Gardermoen. The appeals court found little if any circumstances to reduce the lower court’s sentence but granted him credit for the time he spent in prison in Turkey and in isolation there.
Prosecutors had sought a nine-year prison term for Michelsen, which was reduced to seven years and six month by the court in Oslo. His defense attorney Elisabeth Myhre said her client was disappointed that he only received a three-month rebate by the appeals court. She said he “deeply disagrees” with his jail term and thinks he should have received more credit for his time in the Turkish prison.