After nearly 30 years of lashing out at Norwegian society and espousing conservative Islam, Norway’s most unwelcome refugee keeps fighting to remain in Norway. Mulla Krekar was back in court this week, as he keeps resisting extradition to Italy where he’s been convicted and sentenced to 12 years in jail for planning terrorist acts.
Now it’s once again up a Norwegian court to make sure extradition requirements are met. He and his long-time attorney Brynjar Meling insist that Krekar is simply the subject of a political effort by the Norwegian government to send him out of the country. Krekar has also appealed his conviction in Italy, so his sentence there is not yet in force.
He’s been in police custody again since mid-July, when Italy formally requested his extradition. Krekar had managed to avoid being sent to Italy for the actual trial and clearly does not want to leave Norway, where he earlier had been allowed to bring his family to Norway as well. Even though he repeatedly broke the terms of asylum he was granted in 1991, Norwegian officials can’t send him back to his native Iraq because he’d likely be sentenced to death there for leading a guerrila group in the 1990s.
After two days of testimony, the Oslo County Court was left to determine whether he can be extradited. That decision can be appealed, however, and when that process is completed the case must be sent to the justice ministry. An extradition order must then be issued by the monarch. It’s thus unlikely Krekar, who has already cost Norwegian taxpayers millions of kroner over the years in welfare support and legal costs, will be leaving Norway any time soon.