Denmark hotel bomber sentenced to 12 years

AP News
Posted: May 31, 2011 6:24 AM
Denmark hotel bomber sentenced to 12 years

A Chechen-born man was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in prison for preparing a letter bomb that exploded in a Copenhagen hotel last September.

The Copenhagen City Court said Lors Doukayev, a 25-year-old citizen and resident of Belgium, will be expelled from Denmark after serving his term.

The bomb wounded Doukayev after exploding in a hotel bathroom on Sept. 10. No one else was injured.

Investigators believe it went off prematurely when Doukayev, an amateur boxer with a prosthetic leg, was assembling the device, and that he had intended to send it to a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Doukayev, who was convicted Monday of attempted terrorism and illegal weapons possession, told the court he was innocent before the sentence was read.

"I am about to be sentenced for something that I have not done," he said in French.

During the trial he denied the terror allegations and claimed he carried the explosives and a gun for personal protection.

Doukayev's defense lawyer, Niels Anker Rasmussen, called it a "tough sentence" and said he would discuss with his client whether to appeal. They have two weeks to do so.

Prosecutor Rikke Lundby Jensen had requested at least 12 years in prison saying Doukayev came "very close" to carrying out the attack. Investigators believe he meant for the bomb to explode on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

Danish authorities say they have foiled a series of terror plots linked to the 2005 newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that triggered fiery protests in Muslim countries.

On Feb. 4, a Somali immigrant was sentenced to nine years in prison for breaking into the home of a cartoonist who made one of the most controversial of the 12 drawings of Muhammad. Wielding an ax and a knife, the attacker was shot in the leg by police as the cartoonist hid in a panic room, unharmed.

Four terror suspects are in jail awaiting formal charges for allegedly planning a shooting spree last year at the Copenhagen offices of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, which first published the 12 cartoons.