Denmark extends detentions in Prophet cartoon case

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 08, 2011 6:03 AM
Denmark extends detentions in Prophet cartoon case

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - A Danish court on Friday extended the detention of four men charged with plotting an attack on a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad and outraged Muslims around the world.

The four-week extension was the seventh since the men, one Tunisian and three Swedish citizens, were arrested on December 29 last year and charged with planning an act of terrorism against the daily Jyllands-Posten.

The suspects are next due to appear in court on August 4, prosecutor Helene Schroder said.

The cartoons, which appeared in 2005 and were reproduced in other media, led to violent protests the following year in Muslim countries from Asia to the Middle East in which at least 50 people died.

Threats were issued against the cartoonists, other journalists and the newspaper over the drawings, one of which depicted the Prophet with a bomb in his turban.

Denmark's security police chief has described the alleged plot against the paper as a "Mumbai-style" assault, referring to the 2008 attack on the Indian city in which 10 Pakistani gunmen killed 166 people in a three-day coordinated raid.

The plot was one several uncovered in the Danish capital since the publication of the cartoons six years ago.

Last month, a Danish appeals court lengthened the prison sentence of a Somali man to 10 years from nine for attempting to kill one of the cartoonists behind the 2005 drawings. The man, Muhudiin Mohamed Geele, broke into the home of cartoonist Kurt Westergaard with an axe on New Year's Day last year.

In May, Lors Doukaev, a Belgian citizen born in the south Russian region of Chechnya, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for triggering an explosion in a Copenhagen hotel while preparing a letter bomb to send to Jyllands-Posten.

(Reporting by Mette Fraende, Editing by Mark Trevelyan)