Arsonists found not guilty of terrorism

Five members of the far-left community evaded charges of terrorism but were all found guilty of arson attacks

December 13th, 2012 5:42 pm| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Five young men that were accused of being members of an extreme-left wing terror group have been found not guilty of terrorism, in what was the nation's first terrorism case against ethnic Danes.

The five men were accused of varying involvement in plotting and carrying out arson attacks against targets that included the Greek Embassy, the police and fur companies.

All were found guilty of participating in arson attacks, but they were all cleared of planning future attacks, which they were overheard discussing by police surveillance of their meeting place in Christiania.

The evidence that the men had participated in arson attacks was clear. Four of them were caught red-handed while attempting to set fire to a police school in April 2011, the second attack against the school after a first fire that destroyed 13 police cars. Police also found Molotov cocktails stored in a freezer at their meeting place.

The prosecution was less successful, however, at convincing the jury that the men’s actions constituted terrorism. One of the chief arguments was that the men’s targets were typical targets of the far-left community that they belonged to. The prosecution also argued that the men’s intention was to ‘significantly frighten the population’, the legal definition of a terrorist act.

The men’s defence lawyers countered that the men’s actions targeted symbols, rather than people, and that the men’s attacks were barely registered by the public.

“How could the actions significantly scare a population when no one knows about it?” defence lawyer Michael Juul Eriksen asked.

Each charge required a majority verdict by both a panel of three judges and six jurors – and on some charges it was close.

All three of the judges and three of the jurors wanted to find two of the men guilty of terrorism, but because there was no majority among jurors, the men were found not guilty.

The judges were clear in their opinion, however.

“They targeted representatives of state power, large and international businesses and one of the country’s largest banks,” the judges stated in their verdict. “As a result it has been found that the arson attacks and the attempted attacks were designed to seriously scare the population and do serious damage to Denmark.”

Among the charges levelled against the men, the man referred to only as FP was found guilty of arson attacks against Saga Fur, Rigspolitiet, the police school, a Nordea bank location and the Greek Embassy.

FP, along with the defendant referred to as PJ, was also found guilty of further attacks against the fur companies Pelsbox and Kopenhagen Fur.

The three other men on trial – DP, TH and AC – were found guilty, along with PJ, of the attacks against the police school where they were apprehended.

Had the men been found guilty of the terrorism charges, it could have resulted in life imprisonment.

Falling oil prices have had a major impact (photo: iStock)
Danish export to US and China on the rise
Danish exports to the US and China jumped considerably in 2015, according t...
In 2015, the number of overnights increased by 17 percent in Malmo (photo: Pixabay)
Tourists spending more nights in southern Sweden
Last year, hotels in the Swedish region of Scania recorded a 12 percent inc...
Friday will be a cold day with sleet and snow (photo: Pixabay)
Winter’s coming back!
Following a relatively mild weekend, cold temperatures will return to hit D...
The cement factory will be located some 400 km away from Algiers (photo: FLSmidth)
FLSmidth hauls in lucrative Algerian order
The Danish engineering company FLSmidth has signed a lucrative EPC (enginee...
Al Zubarah is a UNESCO-protected merchant town dating back to the mid-18th century (photo: Aurel Cuvin)
Archaeological project in Qatar halted
A large-scale archaeological co-operation between the University of Copenha...
Caroline Woniacki to hoist Dannebro high in Rio (photo: DIF)
Wozzy to carry Denmark’s flag in Rio
When the Danish Olympic team takes centre stage at the opening ceremony of ...