Judgment delivered on 08 June 2016
The Public Prosecutor
The accused, who had been sentenced to four years' imprisonment for promoting terrorism, had his Danish citizenship withdrawn and was sentenced to expulsion from Denmark with a permanent entry ban.
In the High Court, the accused had been found guilty of promoting terrorism etc. by making propaganda for al-Qaida and related terrorist groups through numerous posts on Facebook and in emails and by editing and publishing three books. The case before the Supreme Court only concerned withdrawal of his citizenship and expulsion.
According to the Act on Danish Nationality, a person may be deprived of his or her Danish citizenship, if they are convicted of violation of the provisions in the Criminal Code on terrorism etc., unless this will make the person concerned stateless. It follows from the legislative history behind the Act that the assessment of whether to withdraw a person's citizenship should be based on a weighing of the severity of the offence and the impact on the person concerned of withdrawal of his or her citizenship.
According to the facts of the case, the accused was born and raised in Morocco, where he spent all of his school years. He came to Denmark when he was 24, and has lived here for 32 years. He speaks Moroccan Arabic and some Danish. He has not achieved a permanent attachment to the Danish labour market and has received benefits since 1994. He has four adult children and four grandchildren. In 2013, he was married in a Muslim wedding to a Danish citizen of Moroccan descent, and in October 2015, she gave birth to a daughter who, according to him, is his child.
After having weighed the severity of the offence against the impact of withdrawal of the accused's citizenship based on an assessment of his situation, including his ties with Denmark and the other country, where he is a citizen, his current family situation and his language skills, the Supreme Court agreed that his Danish citizenship should be withdrawn.
The Supreme Court also found that the conditions in the Danish Aliens Act for expelling the accused had been met, as it would not be in breach of article 8 of the European Human Rights Convention on the right to respect for family life.
The High Court's judgment concerning withdrawal of citizenship and expulsion was therefore upheld.