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19 April 2024

Danish cartoonist's attacker jailed for nine years


A Danish court jailed a Somali for nine years on Friday after finding him guilty of attempted terrorism and attempted murder for an axe attack on a cartoonist who caricatured the Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him).

"Mohamed Geele is sentenced to nine years in prison and expulsion from Denmark for life," after he completes his sentence, judge Ingrid Thorsboe told the court in the central Danish city of Aarhus said.

The 29-year-old Somali "must also pay damages amounting to 10,000 Danish kroner ($1,830) to Kurt Westergaard, as well as cover the costs of the trial," she added.

The court on Thursday found Geele guilty of attempted terrorism and attempted murder for his New Years Day attack last year on the 75-year-old cartoonist.

Prosecutors had requested he serve 12 years in prison before being deported back to his war-torn homeland and banned from ever returning to Denmark, while the defence asked that he only serve six year and not be forced to leave the country.

Geele broke into Westergaard's home last year wielding an axe and screaming, "You must die! You are going to Hell!", according to the cartoonist's testimony in court last month.

Westergaard, who has faced numerous death threats since the publication of his drawing of Mohammed that appeared in the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten in 2005, said he escaped "certain death" by rushing into a bathroom-turned-panic-room to call police.