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Supreme Court of Denmark

10 years' imprisonment for terrorism 

Case no. 299/2011
Judgment 2 May 2012

The Public Prosecutor

T was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment for terrorism for having attempted to kill the cartoonist Kurt Vestergaard and was permanently expelled from Denmark

T had attempted to kill the cartoonist Kurt Vestergaard in his home with an axe and a knife.

The Supreme Court noted that killing Kurt Vestergaard for having drawn one of the Mohammed drawings, which were featured in the newspaper Jyllands-Posten in 2005, in the circumstances had to be considered as an attempt to limit freedom of speech and prevent the public debate. In the circumstances, killing Kurt Vestergaard for having drawn one of the drawings and subsequently defending his right thereto had to be considered an attempt to seriously scare the population and destabilise or destroy a country's basic political, constitutional, economic and social structures, and such an act could cause serious harm to Denmark. The Supreme Court, thus, agreed that the act should be considered under s. 114(1)(1) of the Danish Penal Code as attempted terrorism.

There was no basis for changing the sentence of 10 years' imprisonment.

The Supreme Court held that the severity and nature of the offence committed were such that there were no decisive arguments against expulsion – regardless, in particular, of the fact that T had a spouse and four minor children in this country. In addition, expulsion could not be regarded as being in contravention of art. 8 of the European Human Rights Convention. For this reason, there was no basis for making the expulsion conditional, and the Supreme Court, thus, agreed that T should be expelled with a permanent entry ban.

The High Court had reached the same conclusion.


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