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Denmark Set to Begin Trial of Four Swedes and One Tunisian for Plotting to Attack the Offices of Jyllands-Posten

04/12/2012

The news agency Reuters is reporting that tomorrow, April 13, 2012, three Swedish citizens and one Tunisian national will go to trial as scheduled for allegedly plotting to attack the offices of Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.  Reuters is also reporting that the identities of the four previously unnamed defendants have been released.  The four men are “[44-year-old] Mounir Ben Mohamed Dhahri, a Tunisian citizen, [29-year-old] Munir Awad a Swedish citizen born in Lebanon, [30-year-old] Omar Abdalla Aboelazm, a Swedish citizen born in Sweden to a Swedish mother and Egyptian father, and [37-year-old] Sahbi Ben Mohamed Zalouti, a Swedish citizen of Tunisian origin.”  Meanwhile, the Swedish English-language newspaper The Local is reporting that the “names of the judges and courts that have played a key role” in the case have been classified. 

The four men were arrested in late December of 2010 in Sweden and Denmark just a few days before they allegedly were to unleash their attack.  Police said they uncovered a machine gun, a handgun ammunition, and plastic strips that could be have been used to handcuff hostages.  The trial is expected to last until sometime around June 15.  The four men are facing one charge of terror crimes and two charges of violating weapons laws.  If convicted, the four men could receive life sentences.

To read more about Jyllands-Posten and the Danish cartoon controversy, click on our news alert titled Danish Prosecutors Charge Four Suspects With Terrorism For an Alleged Plot to Attack Offices of Jyllands-Posten.  To read the Reuters news article, click on Denmark to Try Four in Plot on Mohammad Cartoons Paper.  To read The Local news article, click on ‘Secret Judges’ in Danish Terror Case: Swede’s Rep.  In that article, defense attorney Kåre Traberg Smidt claims the justice system “was hindering him for doing his job to the best of his ability” by improperly classifying the names of judges and courts that authorized the wiretapping of the four men.  It is true this court order will likely prevent the defense attorneys from mounting an effective challenge to the legality of the wiretaps that apparently led to the arrests.  On the other hand, this court order was obviously deemed necessary to protect the well-being of those judges and other court officials who might otherwise be targeted by extremists.