ROME: A fundamentalist Iraqi terrorist has been extradited to Italy from Norway, despite Italy is being hit hard by deadly Coronavirus which claimed thousands of lives in the country.
Mullah Krekar, real name Najmaddin Faraj Ahmad was convicted by an Italian court of leading a jihadist group.
According to BBC, his lawyers challenged his extradition, citing the Coronavirus pandemic.
More than 7,500 deaths from Covid-19 have been reported from Italy. On the other hand, Norway has recorded 3,250 confirmed cases and 14 deaths.
Who is Mullah Krekar?
The 63-year-old Iraqi Kurdish preacher came to Norway as a refugee in 1991.
He was the founder of the defunct Islamic group Ansar al-Islam, although has since distanced himself from the group, reports BBC.
Norway has been trying to extradite him for years, judging him to be a threat to national security since 2007. But under Norwegian law it would be illegal to extradite him to Iraq – despite repeated requests by Kurdish authorities – because he could face the death penalty.
Last year, an Italian court sentenced him to 12 years behind bars for leading the Rawti Shax network, a now-disbanded Kurdish movement that allegedly has links with the Islamic State group and is thought to have planned attacks in Western countries.
On Thursday, Norwegian Justice Minister Monica Maeland told journalists he had been extradited to the country.
“We have been given assurances that he will receive the help he should have and needs,” she told reporters.