Norway Islamist Mullah Krekar sues state
Infamous Norway-based fundamentalist preacher Najmuddin Ahmad Faraj, better known as Mullah Krekar, is seeking 200,000 kroner in compensation after being acquitted on charges that he made death threats during a television interview last year.
Krekar warned back in March that he planned to sue the state after being held in custody for nine months. On Monday, he made good on the threat, his lawyer Brynjar Meling confirmed.
The controversial preacher is seeking 200,000 kroner in compensation, saying that Norway has besmirched his reputation.
“There are two things behind the compensation claim. One is the amount of days he sat [in custody]. And the other is that one can also receive compensation when their good name and reputation have been ruined,” Meling told TV2.
Krekar was in custody for 285 days in his most recent legal case, which is one of many since the founder of the Ansar al-Islam group moved to Norway in 1991.
Krekar was released in March following a ruling by the Court of Appeals that overturned a previous Oslo District Court decision in October, in which Krekar was sentenced to one and a half years in prison for threatening the life of Halmat Goran, a Kurd who had burned a copy of the Koran.
The Islamist is back home with his wife and has resumed “his teachings” according to Krekar.
It his precisely Krekar’s Islamist “teachings” that have been perceived by police and prosecutors as incitement to terrorism.
Despite his client’s controversial standpoints, Meling stressed that the law should apply to everyone in Norway equally and that Krekar – regardless of whether people find him provocative – should have the right to sue the state for compensation.
In the interview with NRK that led to the threat charges, Krekar said among other things that “whoever insults our religion must know that one of us will die. He, or others, who offend our religion, our honour, must understand that it is a life or death conflict”.
The Islamist also used the interview to praise the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks in Paris.
The Court of Appeals said that the statements were not sufficient proof of a direct threat aimed at Goran. However, the court said that Krekar was liable for civil reparations in the case and ordered him to pay 40,000 kroner to Goran in damages.
Krekar, a former guerilla leader from northern Iraq, has been in the Norwegian court system 60 times since relocating to the country.
The 59-year-old Islamist currently faces extradition to Italy on charges that he is behind terrorist plots and the leader of the organization Rawti Shax, an offshoot of the jihadist group Ansar al-Islam.