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Left-wing arsonists again not guilty of terrorism

Five men were found guilty for a range of arson attacks, but the Eastern High Court found that the attacks did not constitute terrorism


The arsonists caused extensive damage to the police school in Brøndby (Photo: Scanpix)

December 10, 2013
11:22

by Peter Stanners


The Eastern High Court has found five men not guilty of terrorism after the Prosecution Service appealed against an earlier decision by the Copenhagen City Court.

The City Court found three of the men guilty of a range of arson charges last December and the Eastern High Court agreed yesterday. The High Court also found two more of the five men guilty on the arson charges.

READ MORE: Sentences handed down in arson case

Left-wing activists
The men attempted to set fire to eight targets – including a police school, a fur company and a bank – between 2010 and 2011.

The Prosecution Service argued that the politically-motivated arson attempts constituted terrorism, but the Eastern High Court did not agree.

“Even though the arson was politically motivated, the Eastern High Court ruled that neither the character nor the context in which the acts were performed could contribute significant damage to Denmark by scaring the public, forcing the public authorities to act, or destabilising the fundamental economic or social structures,” the Eastern High Court stated in its ruling.

READ MORE: Arsonists found not guilty of terrorism

Upheld arson convictions
The Eastern High Court upheld all of Copenhagen City Court’s convictions but also found two of the men guilty of one additional charge each.

Ritzau reports that the defendants – Peter Jensen, 24, Daniel Holst, 23, Tobias Melsted Hansen, 22, Anders Chisstreu, 26, and Frederik Pryds, 25 – were all found guilty in the attempted arson attack on the police school in Brøndby.

Jensen and Pryds were also found guilty of the arson attack against the fur companies Pelsbox Denmark and Kopenhagen Fur.

Pryds was found guilty of further arson and attempted arson attacks against Saga Fur, the national police’s IT centre, the bank Nordea and the Greek Embassy.

All except Pryds were caught red-handed in the arson attack against the police school after a surveillance operation that exposed how the men had discussed further attacks against the domestic intelligence agency, PET, and parliament.

READ MORE: Left-wing terror trial enters final phase

New sentences
Copenhagen City Court last year handed Pryds a six-year sentence, Jensen four years, and the remaining three men 21 months each.

The Eastern High Court will release new sentences for all five on Thursday.



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