Interpol issues wanted notice for Mohammad Munaf, sentenced in Romania for terrorism
Interpol issued an international wanted person notice for Iraqi-American citizen Mohammad Munaf, sentenced to ten years in prison by a Romanian court in 2008 for his role in the kidnapping of three Romanian journalists, the Romanian Justice Ministry said Thursday. The ministry has not yet been informed about the Iraqi court's decision to set Munaf free, the institution said.
Munaf, guide to three Romanian journalists kidnapped in Iraq in 2005, was arrested by the U.S. military for alleged connivance in kidnapping, alongside five other suspects. Following trials in Iraq, Munaf had been sentenced to death by hanging, but his sentence was later overturned by a higher court, which cited erroneous data and inaccurate case documentation. It also ruled that Munaf would remain in custody until new investigations were conducted and completed.
Investigations revealed that the kidnapping had been contrived in Romania by Syrian businessman Omar Hayssam, who sent his brother, Muhammad Khaled al Umar, to Iraq as link with kidnappers. Meanwhile, a Romanian court sentenced Hayssam to 20 years in prison and Munaf to ten years in prison for terrorism. Hayssam fled Romania in the first half of 2006, while under a terrorism inquiry for his role in the kidnapping. According to authorities, he is in Syria at the moment.
Following the decision ruled by in Iraq in 2008, Munaf was set free. Romania does not have an extradition treaty with Iraq.