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Norway allows cleric to face court in Italy

December 18, 2018
FILE - In this June 13, 2016 file photo, Najmuddin Ahmad Faraj, better known as Mullah Krekar, at Oslo District Court in Oslo, Norway. Iraqi-born cleric, Mullah Krekar, suspected of enticing recruits to fight in Iraq and Syria has been given travel documents to travel to Italy where he faces trial, Norway’s justice minister said. (Terje Pedersen/NTB Scanpix via AP, File)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — An Iraqi-born cleric suspected of enticing recruits to fight in Iraq and Syria has been given travel documents to travel to Italy where he faces trial, Norway’s justice minister said Tuesday.

Justice Minister Tor Mikkel Wara said the Norway-based cleric known as Mullah Krekar will be escorted by Norwegian police to Italy for his trial.

Italian prosecutors allege Krekar is behind Rawti Shax, a European network aimed at violently overthrowing the government in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and replacing it with a radical caliphate.

Krekar, born Najm al-Din Faraj Ahmad, has denied the allegations.

No date for his travel to Italy has been announced.

Krekar previously had tried to fight an extradition request from Italy.

The 62-year-old cleric who came to Norway as a refugee in 1991, has been convicted of threatening Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, making other death threats and praising the 2015 extremist slayings of cartoonists at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

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