Iraqi lawmaker won't be executed for visiting Israel

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

Iraqi lawmaker Mithal al-Alusi was acquitted on Monday after being prosecuted under a 1950s-era law for visiting an "enemy state" - Israel.

Alusi has visited Israel twice over the past five years to attend counter-terrorism conferences.

In 2005, Muslim terrorists killed Alusi's two sons in an attack presumably targeting the lawmaker in response to his first trip to the Jewish state.

Undeterred, Alusi returned to Israel in September of this year and spoke at the annual conference at the International Institute for Counterterrorism.

Upon his return to Baghdad, Alusi was stripped of his parliamentary immunity and prosecuted. Many feared Alusi would be sentenced to death, the punishment stipulated by Baathist laws forbidding contact with countries Iraq considers itself to be at war with.

But on Monday the court ruled there was no explicit law forbidding travel to Israel. Alusi himself told Reuters that the backlash over his trip to Israel was a manifestation of growing Iranian influence in Iraq.

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