Attacker of Danish cartoonist gets 9-year sentence

Feb 4 2011 - 3:57pm

COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- A court in Denmark on Friday handed down a nine-year prison term for a Somali-born man who a year ago attacked a Danish cartoonist whose depiction of the prophet Mohammed sparked outrage in the Muslim world.

The court in the western city of Aarhus on Thursday found the 29- year-old defendant guilty of the attempted murder of cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and ruled that the attack was an act of terrorism.

In addition to the prison sentence, the court ordered his deportation once the sentence is served.

In its ruling, the court concluded that the defendant had tried to terrify the population and destabilize Danish society.

The defendant's lawyer said they would appeal the sentence, while the prosecutor was satisfied with the outcome.

The 75-year-old cartoonist escaped unharmed after the man, armed with an axe and a knife, forced his way into Westergaard's home on New Year's Day in 2010.

Westergaard fled into a panic room and alerted police.

His cartoon depicting Mohammed with a bomb in his turban, was one of 12 published by the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2005. Muslims worldwide were outraged.

The defendant had testified that he had wanted to frighten Westergaard since he was angered by the cartoon.

The prosecutor argued that the attack was an act of terrorism aimed at inciting "fear and chaos" at large.

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(c) 2011, Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany).

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