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Supreme Court of Denmark

Sentencing and expulsion in case concerning threats against police officer 

Case no. 81/2018

Judgment delivered on 20 November 2018

The Public Prosecutor

Threats of violence against police officer on duty punished with imprisonment for three months, and expulsion with a six-year entry ban not in contravention of Denmark’s international obligations

T, a now 32-year-old Pakistani citizen who was born in Denmark and had lived in this country his entire life, had been found guilty in the District Court and High Court of, among other things, infringement of Section 119(1) of the Danish Criminal Code by having threatened a police officer on duty in a visitation zone with violence. At the time, T was surrounded by other persons affiliated with the Loyal to Familia gang, of which he was the leader. T had previously been convicted of serious assaults several times, including fatal violence, and had been sentenced to prison and suspended expulsion. In total, T had spent about 10 years of his life in prison. The threats at issue in this case were made some four months after he was released from prison where he was serving his most recent sentence, and during the probation period of the suspended expulsion. The case before the Supreme Court concerned the determination of the penalty and the issue of expulsion.

The majority of the Supreme Court found that imprisonment for three months was the appropriate sentence. With regard to the expulsion of T, the majority of the Supreme Court held, among other things, that T should be expelled unconditionally with a six-year entry ban, unless it would be contrary to Denmark’s international obligations. The majority found, among other things, that T’s behaviour during many years showed that he was not willing to be integrated into Danish society, as he had continued his criminal career and was the leader of a gang that was known for committing serious assaults despite his previous sentences for serious assaults and despite the fact that he had been warned of the risk of expulsion. There were grounds to assume that T would continue committing serious assaults in Denmark if he was not expelled. Although his most recent charge was only punished with imprisonment for three months, it was therefore necessary to expel T in the interests of public safety and to prevent crime and uphold public order. Also, T was deemed to be able to fit into life in Pakistan.

Hence, based on a proportionality assessment, the majority of the Supreme Court held that expelling T with a six-year entry ban did not amount to an infringement of T’s right to protection of his privacy under Article 8 of the European Human Rights Convention, and that it was thus not in contravention of Denmark’s international obligations.

The High Court had reached a different conclusion.

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