Sanner requests an explanation from the UDI
Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad’s, aka Mullah Krekar, co-accused gained Norwegian citizenship while the terror case was investigated. “Some holes need to be plugged,” Minister of Integration, Jan Tore Sanner (Conservatives), states.
The man, in his forties, was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison on Monday. Ahmad was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment for terrorist planning the same day. Both have appealed the verdicts by the Bolzano City Court (Italy).
The application for citizenship was approved by the UDI last year. This, despite the fact that he has long been investigated by Italian police.
The man’s Norwegian citizenship now means that he cannot be extradited to Italy to serve a prison sentence. Norway does not extradite its citizens to other countries.
“I have asked the UDI for an account of what has happened in the case in question. I have also asked the UDI to assess whether there is a basis for revoking the citizenship,” Sanner writes in a press release.
Holes must be plugged
As a result of this case, the Ministry of Education and Research asks the Directorate of Immigration to explain the criteria used by the Directorate in the processing of applications for citizenship.
“We ask that the Directorate review the procedures for the case processing and consider whether the routines should be extended with several criteria, for example examination of possible extradition requests,” Sanner continues.
“The UDI announces that it is not usual to consider whether extradition requests exist during the case processing. I think they should. That may indicate that there are some holes that must be plugged here,” Sanner tells NTB.
He does, however, not wish to conclude that it will be appropriate to revoke the man’s citizenship if the UDI finds that there is a basis for that.
“As a responsible minister, I do not want to pre-conclude this matter. But if it is withheld or incorrect information in the process, it can provide a basis for a recall. There are reasons to ask these questions about routines and case processing – particularly related to the issue of extradition requests,” Sanner concludes.
The UDI confirms to NTB that they have received the inquiry from Sanner.
“We have received the letter from Jan Tore Sanner. We will follow it up as soon as possible, Press Adviser of the UDI, John Olav Kroken, tells NTB.
The Norwegian Directorate for Immigration (UDI) has a deadline of July 23rd.
Case processing by a robot
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Justice issued a press release stating that it wants to automate all decisions using a robot – without the involvement of case officers. Today, the UDI already uses the Ada robot, which makes decisions in cases where the applicant has agreed that the decision can be automated.
The proposal concerns an extension of the scheme so that the robot also makes decisions without consent.
“The assessments on automation regards streamlining case processing,” Sanner explains. He does not want to comment on the Ministry of Justice’s proposal.
Can’t extradite Norwegian citizens
Attorney Brynjulf Risnes refers to the Norwegian Citizenship Act to NRK. The Act states that the processing of an application for citizenship can be suspended if the applicant is under investigation for criminal offences that may affect the applicant.
“It is a system failure if you are granted citizenship while suspected of a serious criminal offence,” Risnes asserts.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today