Nearly two and a half years after breaking into cartoonist Kurt Westergaard’s residence with an axe and a knife, Muhudiin Mohamed Geele finally received his sentence.
The 30 year-old Somali, dubbed the 'Axe Man', had previously been convicted of terrorism in a district court and that verdict was affirmed yesterday in the Supreme Court.
Westergaard became the symbol of Jyllands-Posten newspaper’s infamous Mohammed drawings, and therefore the court ruled that the attack was also an act against the safety of the Danish people and the founding structures of Denmark.
Geele was convicted of terror and sentenced to ten years in prison to be followed by expulsion from Denmark. The prosecution had pushed for the prison sentence to be increased to 12 years.
“To kill Kurt Westergaard for drawing one of the Mohammed cartoons printed in Jyllands-Posten in 2005 must be seen as an attempt to limit the freedom of speech and hinder public debate,” the sentence read.
The defence wanted Geele acquitted of terrorism and sought to reduce the prison time to a maximum of six years while having the expulsion verdict removed completely.
But the Supreme Court would not relent and the sentence passed in the district courts was upheld.
“The high court finds that count one was of such a violent nature that, despite having a spouse and four young children, there is not enough evidence to overrule an expulsion,” the sentence read.
Additionally, Geele was also ordered to pay the costs of the trial.
The sentence is the first of its kind in Denmark that has resulted in a terrorism verdict being handed down for an attack on a single person.