3 acquitted of murder plot against Swedish artist

AP News
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Posted: Jan 20, 2012 8:49 AM
3 acquitted of murder plot against Swedish artist

A Swedish court has acquitted three men accused of plotting to murder an artist who depicted the Prophet Muhammad as a dog.

In Friday's ruling, the Goteborg district court said the defendants lied about why they visited an art gallery where Lars Vilks was expected to make an appearance, and were armed with knives, but it hadn't been proved that they intended to kill him.

The ruling was expected as the three men _ of Somali and Iraqi origin _ had been released pending the decision.

It wasn't immediately clear whether prosecutors would appeal.

Vilks has faced a serious of death threats for his 2007 drawing of Muhammad. Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet, even favorable, for fear it could lead to idolatry.