Norway: 'Mullah Krekar has right to defend his religion', says his lawyer

Norway: 'Mullah Krekar has right to defend his religion', says his lawyer

Via VG:

The prosecutor in the trail against Mulla Krekar (Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad) asked for five years imprisonment. Krekar is charged with threatening the head of the Conservative Party, Erna Solberg, and with threatening to kill three Kurds who posted a YouTube video of a Koran being burnt.

Krekar's laywer, Arvid Sjødin, said in his concluding statement that the Kurds deliberately provoked a reaction from Krekar by filming the Koran burning and posting it online.

"They knew perfectly well what reaction will occur. Therefore they put into motion a campaign to get Krekar to say what they knew he would say," said Sjødin. "In Western Norway we have a saying, if you sit on barbed wire, don't complain that it pricks. These people sat down on barbed wire."

The lawyer also denied that Krekar threatened the three Kurds. "When Krekar says that when you do such insulting things you can die, it's not a threat, but a factual observation from a religious viewpoint."

Krekar had previously explained to the court that he hadn't threatened Erna Solberg, when he said she'll die if he is killed after she deports him from Norway. "In our religion there are laws on how to punish groups or collectives if they are responsible for killing a person," he said. "My death in Norwegian hands will lead to a backlash against Norwegians."

"If Erna says she will deport me, then Erna and the leaders of her party run the risk of dying." But, he added, "I can't threaten her now. She hasn't done anything."

Sjødin said Krekar's statements are allowed within freedom of speech, and he warned of the consequences of convicting him.

"Naturally Krakar has a right to defend his religion. If Krekar is convicted, it will send a message to the rest of Europe and the Middle East that in Norway you can insult Islam with impunity, while those who defend their religion are imprisoned. It can cause problems for Norway, " said Sjødin.