PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona decide will maintain a listening to Thursday over whether or not to log off on a request by the Iraqi authorities to extradite a Phoenix driving college proprietor on fees that he participated within the 2006 killings of two Iraqi law enforcement officials because the chief of an al-Qaida group.
Ali Yousif Ahmed Al-Nouri, an Iraqi native who got here to america as a refugee in 2009 and have become a U.S. citizen in 2015, faces homicide fees in Iraq stemming from two assaults carried out by masked males on the streets of Fallujah.
Prosecutors say Ahmed was seen by witnesses on the killings and later fled Iraq to keep away from prosecution.
Ahmed has denied involvement within the killings and being a member of a terror group. His lawyer, Jami Johnson, has mentioned Ahmed wouldn’t get a good trial amid the corruption within the Iraqi justice system and would seemingly face execution if he had been compelled again to his native nation.
Johnson has questioned why it took greater than a decade for Iraqi authorities to formally accuse her consumer and criticized accounts of the killings from informants who had “all the things to achieve by delivering the Trump administration a supposed ‘terrorist refugee’ in an election 12 months.”
The administration of former President Donald Trump had sharply criticized the Obama-era settlement program, questioning whether or not sufficient was finished to weed out these with terrorist ties.
Almost three months in the past, a decide in northern California refused to permit the extradition of Omar Abdulsattar Ameen, who was accused of committing a killing for the Islamic State, to Iraq.
The decide mentioned cellphone proof reveals Ameen, who was granted refugee standing in america in 2014 on the grounds he was a sufferer of terrorism, was in Turkey on the time of the slaying.
Within the first taking pictures through which Ahmed is charged, authorities say an attacker held a gun to a witness’ head, whereas one other attacker who began to fireside on a police officer skilled a malfunction along with his gun.
One other attacker then killed police Lt. Issam Ahmed Hussein. The witness later recognized Ahmed, who wasn’t carrying a masks, because the group’s chief, based on court docket information.
4 months later, Iraqi authorities say Ahmed and different males fatally shot Officer Khalid Ibrahim Mohammad because the officer was sitting outdoors a retailer.
An individual who witnessed the taking pictures acknowledged Ahmed, whose masks had fallen off, as one of many assailants, based on court docket information.
Ahmed’s attorneys mentioned the violence and turmoil in Iraq prompted their consumer to flee to Syria, the place he lived in a refugee camp for 3 years earlier than transferring to america. Authorities mentioned Ahmed hung out in a Syrian jail, although they couldn’t decide what landed him behind bars.
Protection attorneys say Ahmed volunteered in Phoenix’s refugee neighborhood and labored as a cultural adviser to the U.S. army, touring to bases in different states to assist army personnel as they ready to deploy to the Center East. He purchased a house on the northwestern fringe of metro Phoenix and operated a driving college serving largely Center Japanese immigrants.
In a press release to The Related Press, Johnson mentioned: “The actions of america in trying to extradite an American citizen to a rustic with a well-documented historical past of bringing false terrorism fees for political functions, of fabricating proof, of torturing detainees, and of depriving defendants of truthful trials ought to alarm each American who believes in equity and due course of.”
Prosecutors have questioned Ahmed’s credibility, saying he gave conflicting explanations on how he suffered gunshot wounds whereas in Iraq and that they may not decide why he hung out in a Syrian jail earlier than transferring to america.
They mentioned the criticism of the Iraqi justice system and what Ahmed would possibly face if he had been despatched again to Iraq don’t have any bearing on whether or not Ahmed is extraditable. They mentioned Ahmed’s arguments “invite the court docket to exceed its restricted position on this certification continuing.”
U.S. Justice of the Peace Choose Michael Morrissey won’t make conclusions about whether or not Ahmed is harmless or responsible of the costs or whether or not his extradition is warranted.
As a substitute, the decide will decide whether or not there’s proof of possible trigger to help every cost and, if that’s the case, certify the request.
In the end, the choice on whether or not to ship Ahmed to Iraq might be as much as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s workplace.