Hedegaard cleared of racism charge

Court rules that statements were not intended to be public

February 4th, 2011 9:21 am| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

"They rape their own children. You hear it all the time. Girls in Muslim families are raped by their uncles, their cousins, or their fathers.”

While one can certainly question the validity of such a statement, or the wisdom of making it, the Frederiksberg District Court ruled it does not constitute racism or hate speech – at least not in the case of Lars Hedegaard.

The court on Monday acquitted Hedegaard, president of the Danish Free Press Society, of charges of racism stemming from statements the historian and journalist made to a blogger in December 2009.

Although the court stated that it found Hedegaard’s comments to be insulting, the acquittal was handed down due to the fact that Hedegaard did not know that his controversial comments would be published.

Hedegaard had previously expressed regret over the statements, which were made during a 35-minute interview at a Christmas party with the author of the blog snaphanen.dk. However, he had maintained that what he said did not constitute racism under the Danish penal code.

Hedegaard released a statement following his acquittal.

“My detractors – the foes of free speech and the enablers of an Islamic ascendancy in the West – will claim that I was acquitted on a technicality,” the statement read. “That is absolutely true. However, the public prosecutor has been privy to the circumstances surrounding my case for a year – and yet he chose to prosecute me. Obviously in the hope that he could secure a conviction given the Islamophile sentiment among our ruling classes. My acquittal is therefore a major victory for free speech.”

Hedegaard’s Free Press Society believes that free speech is “being threatened, primarily by religious and ideological interests and international pressure groups,” and that Islam is the “most dangerous threat at the moment” to free expression.

During the trial, Hedegaard received support domestically – most famously from the Danish People’s Party’s Jesper Langballe, whose statements in support of Hedegaard earned the MP a 5,000 kroner fine for what another court said constituted racism – and from what Hedegaard called “freedom fighters around the world”.

According to Hedegaard’s statement, his acquittal “will encourage people all over the West and beyond to speak up”.

Digital mail has hurt Post Danmark (photo: iStock)
Post Danmark to slash paid lunch breaks
Post Danmark is cutting paid lunch breaks for its employees as part of the ...
SAS Go Light will cost about 120 kroner less than the already established 'SAS Go' ticket (photo: iStock)
SAS expanding ‘baggage-less’ ticket to all of Europe
After a successful trial period, Scandinavian Airlines has decided to expan...
One of the medieval coins found (photo: Viborg Museum)
Medieval coins found on Apple site in Jutland
Three members of the Midtjysk Detector Association have found 82 medieval c...
Møn is one of Denmark's few excellent star-gazing areas (photo: Dark Sky Møn)
Møn wants to be the darkest place in Denmark
The island of Møn south of Copenhagen is one of the few areas in Denmark w...
Organic fruits, veggies and meat make up 12 percent of the total Danish organic exports (photo: Pixabay)
Denmark’s food minister to open world’s largest fair for organic food
The Danish environment and food minister, Eva Kjer Hansen, will officially...
The business and growth minister, Troels Lund Poulsen, was pleased with the deal (photo: Business and Growth Ministry)
Danish government agrees to new growth deal
The government has teamed up with Dansk Folkeparti, Liberal Alliance and Ko...