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Norway police file 'procedural' accusations over 1993 shooting of Satanic Verses publisher

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OSLO (Reuters) – Norwegian police have filed accusations against several suspects in the 1993 shooting of author Salman Rushdie’s Norwegian publisher, the National Criminal Investigation Service said on Tuesday.

Police said the move was purely procedural, to keep the case active before a statute of limitations ban comes into force on the shooting’s 25th anniversary on Oct. 11.

Iran’s then Supreme Leader, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa, or religious edict, in 1989 calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie and others associated with his book “The Satanic Verses” for its alleged blasphemy.

Publisher William Nygaard was severely wounded in the subsequent attack outside his home in Oslo.

Police said on Tuesday the suspects were foreign citizens who lived abroad but did not name them. “We will do everything that’s realistically possible to solve this case,” police said in a statement.

Nygaard was not immediately available for comment.

Under Norwegian law, people facing accusations have the right to a lawyer. Formal charges, if they come, are filed at a later stage.

Khomeini’s successor as Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in 2005 that the fatwa was still valid.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik; editing by John Stonestreet)

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