Two domestic terror suspects released

Two of the five Danish men charged over arson attacks have been released from remand

Two of the five men who were charged with terrorism last month for their participation in arson attacks in the Copenhagen area were released by the Eastern High Court yesterday.

The five men – all of whom are ethnic Danes between the ages of 21 and 24 – are charged by the public prosecutor, Rigsadvokaten, with attempting to “seriously frighten the population” and “destabilise or destroy a country’s fundamental political, constitutional, economic or societal structures”. They were the first ethnic Danes to be charged using the anti-terror paragraph §114.

Two of the defendants appealed against the extension of their remand, and the Eastern High Court ruled that they should be released. A decision on releasing the other three has not yet been reached.

Peter Hjørne, the lawyer of one of the two released men, said that he expects the other defendants to be released ahead of their upcoming trial.

“They have been sitting in remand for over a year, and the case first goes to court in the autumn,” Hjørne told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “There must be exceptional reasons for detaining someone for so long.”

The defendants are accused of starting a series of fires in and around Copenhagen in 2010 and 2011. The targets of the attacks included the headquarters of Nestlé, the headquarters of Nordea bank, Rigspolitiet, the Danish domestic intelligence agency (PET), and the Greek Embassy.

Four of them were caught  in late 2010 when they attempted to set fire to the police school in Brøndby, and the fifth was arrested in the following May. One of the suspects is apparently the son of a policeman.