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Two "Swedes" Sentenced to Death in Iraq for Murder of Gang Member

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Two men with Swedish citizenship have been sentenced to death in Baghdad for the murder of an Iraqi gang leader (Foxtrot Network). A third man, also with Swedish citizenship, has been sentenced to prison for his role in the killing. The Swedish Foreign Office has summoned the Iraqi chargé d’affairs to lodge a protest against the death sentences.

I would bet the farm that the three men in question are actually Iraqis who obtained Swedish citizenship, probably after claiming refugee status. If true, one wonders why they ventured back to Iraq. One also wonders if the Swedish protest is just pro forma since the men involved are almost certainly Iraqi gang members.

At any rate, the below article from Dagens Nyheter is translated by Fousesquawk. Since the article is still being updated, there are a couple of inconsistencies in the translation.

Two Swedes sentenced to death in Iraq- Foreign Affairs Office summons top diplomat

Updated 17:41, Posted 10:24

Caption: Mustafa Aljiburi shot to death in Baghdad: Police photo

Two Swedish men have been sentenced to death for the murder of a Swedish gang member in Iraq earlier this year. The Foreign Affairs Office has confirmed that they have been notified of the sentences and Iraq’s top diplomat has been summoned.

“We condemn the application of the death penalty. We always oppose it and regardless of the circumstances,” Foreign Minister Tobias  Billström commented.

Mustafa “Benzema” Aljiburi, a 34-year-old man who earlier held a leading position in the Foxtrot criminal network, was in Baghdad, Iraq during the winter. On January 9 this year, he was shot on the street in Baghdad as he sat in a line of traffic.

Three Swedish men were sentenced Wednesday in Iraq for involvement in the murder of the gang member, which Aftonbladet was the first to report. Two of them were sentenced to death, (while) a third was sentenced to prison, according to the newspapers’s information.

After summoning Iraq’s chargé d’affairs, the Swedish Foreign Affairs Office has received confirmation of one of the death sentences.

“There is information that one or two Swedes have received the same sentence. This information has not been confirmed. One purpose of summoning Iraq’s chargé d’affairs was to request clarification of this information,” the Foreign Affairs Office’s press office writes.

Foreign Minister Tobias  Billström earlier said during the evening that there was still much that was unclear in the case but stressed that Sweden condemns the death penalty.

“At the meeting, (we) conveyed Sweden’s protest against Swedes in Iraq being sentenced to death and demanded that the death sentence not be carried out,” Billström wrote in a press release.

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson also criticized Iraq on Thursday.

“We are determined opponents of the death penalty, and Sweden always takes responsibility for Swedish citizens. Of course, we will investigate the matter more closely,” Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said regarding the information. 

According to earlier information to Dagens Nyheter, a 19-year-old Swede from Hudiksvall was arrested on suspicion of murder in Baghdad. The man was earlier convicted of weapons offenses. The two others who were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the murder are a 23-year-old and a 25-year-old.

Mustafa Aljiburi became widely known last autumn in connection with the splitting up of the Foxtrot leadership-a development that led to a dramatic spiral of violence. After a bloody September with 12 murder cases connected to the spiral of violence, in October SVT (Swedish State Television) received information that Foxtrot leader Rawa Majid had been arrested in Iran. Some time later, Mustafa Aljiburi announced that he had broken from Foxtrot and had built his own network, called “La Liga” (the League).

Caption: Foxtrot leader Rawa Majid.


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