Norway court acquits first suspects tried under new anti-terror law

[JURIST] A Norwegian court Tuesday acquitted three suspects of terror charges laid for allegedly planning to attack the US and Israeli embassies in Oslo [JURIST] after finding that there was no binding and intentional agreement between them. The three had also been indicted [JURIST report] for their roles in a September 2006 shooting at an Oslo synagogue. Charges relating to the synagogue shooting were dropped against two of the suspects, but a third was convicted. The court ruled that the shooting was vandalism, not terrorism.

The trial was the first test of Norway's new anti-terrorism law. Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten quoted legal experts as suggesting that presiding Judge Kim Herger was consciously trying to establish strict standards of evidence [Aftenposten report] for prosecutions under the new law. US Ambassador to Norway Benson K. Whitney [official profile] is reported to have been "both surprised and dismayed" at the acquittal. The US criticized [JURIST report] Norway's new anti-terrorism law in 2007 for being too lenient, with Whitney expressing particular concern that it did not designate membership in a terrorist organization as an offense by itself. AP has more. The Norway Post has local coverage.

 

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