PHOENIX — A decide has licensed the Iraqi authorities’s extradition request for a Phoenix driving faculty proprietor on fees that he participated within the killings of two cops 15 years in the past within the Iraqi metropolis of Fallujah because the chief of an al-Qaida group, sending the extradition choice to Washington to determine.
Within the choice issued Friday in Arizona, U.S. Justice of the Peace Decide Michael Morrissey concluded there was possible trigger that Ali Yousif Ahmed Al-Nouri, who got here to the US as a refugee in 2009 and have become a U.S. citizen in 2015, participated within the killings carried out by masked males in June 2006 and October 2006.
The U.S. Division of Justice confirmed it has no document of getting ever earlier than extradited anybody to Iraq underneath a decades-old a U.S.-Iraq treaty.
Regardless of inconsistencies in statements by individuals interviewed about each assaults, Morrissey ordered the extradition request be despatched to Washington. He mentioned an inconsistency from an individual cooperating with authorities wasn’t sufficient to undermine possible trigger in a single case and that different statements made by a cooperator within the different killing are constant in lots of vital particulars, regardless that there was an inconsistency in that individual’s account.
The Justice of the Peace decide rejected Ahmed’s declare that his extradition isn’t allowed underneath a U.S.-Iraq treaty provision that bars extraditions for offenses which can be political in nature. He concluded al-Qaida wasn’t a part of an inner rebellion or violent political disturbance underneath one courtroom customary and as an alternative that the killings have been acts of worldwide terrorism.
David Eisenberg, an lawyer who represented Ahmed, didn’t instantly reply to a name Monday morning requesting touch upon his shopper’s behalf.
Morrissey didn’t make conclusions about whether or not Ahmed is harmless or responsible of the fees or whether or not his extradition is warranted. As an alternative, he decided there was proof of possible trigger to help every cost and authorized the request.
The choice on whether or not to extradite Ahmed to Iraq is finally as much as Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s workplace, although the Justice Division usually performs a driving position within the extradition course of. The Justice Division declined to touch upon the choice.
Morrissey mentioned the choice over whether or not humanitarian justifications needs to be used to refuse extradition is left as much as the secretary of state, not the courts.
Prosecutors say Ahmed was seen by witnesses on the killings and later fled Iraq to keep away from prosecution.
They questioned Ahmed’s credibility, saying he gave conflicting explanations on how he suffered gunshot wounds whereas in Iraq and that they might not decide why he hung out in a Syrian jail earlier than transferring to the US.
Ahmed denied involvement within the killings and being a member of a terror group. His attorneys argued Ahmed wouldn’t get a good trial amid the corruption within the Iraqi justice system and would probably face execution if he have been pressured again to his native nation.
One among Ahmed’s earlier attorneys had questioned why it took greater than a decade for Iraqi authorities to formally accuse her shopper and criticized accounts of the killings from informants who had “every thing to achieve by delivering the Trump administration a supposed ‘terrorist refugee’ in an election yr.”
President Donald Trump’s administration had sharply criticized the Obama-era settlement program, questioning whether or not sufficient was accomplished to weed out these with terrorist ties.
Almost a yr 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 confirmed Ameen, who was granted refugee standing in the US 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 wherein Ahmed is charged, authorities say an attacker held a gun to a witness’ head, whereas one other attacker who began to fireplace on a police officer skilled a malfunction together 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, in accordance with courtroom information.
4 months later, Iraqi authorities say Ahmed and different males fatally shot Officer Khalid Ibrahim Mohammad because the officer was exterior a retailer.
An individual who witnessed the taking pictures acknowledged Ahmed, whose masks had fallen off, as one of many assailants, in accordance with courtroom information.
Ahmed’s attorneys had mentioned the violence and turmoil in Iraq prompted their shopper to flee to Syria, the place he lived in a refugee camp for 3 years earlier than transferring to the US. 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 group 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.
Ahmed purchased a house on the northwestern fringe of metro Phoenix and operated a driving faculty serving largely Center Jap immigrants. He has been detained since his arrest in January 2020.
This story has been up to date to right the spelling of the primary identify of Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Related Press author Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.