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Vilks arsonists plan to appeal prison sentences
Photo: Björn Lindgren/Scanpix (file)

Vilks arsonists plan to appeal prison sentences

Published: 19 Jul 2010 15:33 GMT+02:00
Updated: 19 Jul 2010 15:33 GMT+02:00

The two brothers who last week were sentenced for firebombing the home of artist Lars Vilks will appeal the sentence, the younger brother's lawyer announced on Monday.

"We believe that the district court made a wrong decision," Lennart Nilsson told news agency TT. "My client does not at all think that his explanation of the course of events is so improbable as the district court believes and accordingly wants to have a trial in the court of appeal."

The news agency did not give the brothers' names, but the tabloid Expressen has previously identified them as Mensur, 19 and Mentor Alija, 21. They are both Swedish nationals of Kosovar origin.

The deadline for an appeal is August 5th. Mentor Alija's lawyer, Johan Sederholm, confirmed that he will also lodge an appeal on Monday. Deputy chief prosecutor Göran Olsson has not yet decided if he will also appeal.

"I will decide later, before time runs out," he said.

Mensur Alija was sentenced in Helsingborg district court to two years and Mentor Alija three years in prison for attempted arson last week. The crime carries a penalty of two to eight years' imprisonment.

The Alijas, who are from Landskrona in southern Sweden, were arrested in May after two jackets with a driver's license, bank account information and keys to the brothers' home were found outside Vilks' home.

Both brothers have denied their involvement, even though Mensur Alija reportedly suffered serious burns on the night of May 15th, when the attack occurred. He has claimed he was involved in a barbecue accident.

The attack occured three days after Vilks was attacked during a lecture at Uppsala University.

Vilks has faced numerous death threats and a suspected assassination plot since his drawing of the Muslim prophet with the body of a dog was first published by Swedish regional daily Nerikes Allehanda in 2007 to illustrate an editorial on the importance of freedom of expression.

Their publication prompted protests by Muslims in the town of Örebro, west of Stockholm, where the newspaper is based, while Egypt, Iran and Pakistan made formal complaints.

An Al-Qaeda front organisation then offered $100,000 to anyone who murdered Vilks - with a $50,000 bonus if his throat was slit - and $50,000 for the death of Nerikes Allehanda editor-in-chief Ulf Johansson.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:09 July 19, 2010 by engagebrain
For a politically motivated arson attack the sentences seem pretty feeble.

I assume the arsonist who managed to burn himself will be demanding compensation from the state, on the basis that a fanatic should never have been allowed to buy petrol and matches.

Ridiculous, if it wasn't an attack on the bedrock of a free state.
16:41 July 19, 2010 by Keith #5083
I suppose it could be possible than an appeal against the sentences might, just might, result in an even longer sentence? This should be the least that occurs when 'convicted persons' waste the courts time with appeal without further exonerating evidence.

For example, one could assume that at the alleged barbecue that was the cause of burn injuries, other people may have been present or neighbours witness the incident. It seems, from the verdict, that any such evidence or witness testimony was missing. I guess it was at that alleged barbecue, in the confusion of the accident, that the 2 jackets, driving licence and keys were misplaced, stolen or

spirited away upon the wisps of smoke.
17:49 July 19, 2010 by wenddiver
Re-sentence to 75 years hard labor, loss of all private property (including barbacue pit and whatever keys went to) and deportation to Serbia, since they have not become Swedish.
21:13 July 19, 2010 by Abbot
Give them Islamic justice: death.
07:22 July 20, 2010 by Keith #5083
#3

I believe the article above says : "They are both Swedish nationals", though I feel a convincing argument for repatriation to Kosova could well be made and their Swedish Citizenship should be revoked. In my view this offence was 'attempted murder' and it is good that it failed.

Indeed, when citizenship is granted to 'immigrants' it would seem wholly reasonable that such citizenship be, initially, for a probationary period of, say, 5 years. Any criminal activity within that time should cause the citizenship to be revoked..

The west generally is far too soft on this issue.

I wonder what would have been the punishment under Taliban rules....???!!!???
08:04 July 20, 2010 by Nachos
Agreed, Keith. I've suggested revoking citizenship in cases like these on these boards before and the ultra-left wingers acted like it was taking away his humanity. To be granted citizenship as a foreigner, especially one that was brought here as an asylum seeker, is a privilege and NOT an entitlement. Deportation of these clowns should be immediate.
09:42 July 20, 2010 by Nemesis
Repatriation to Kosovo would be the best sentence for these people, after they have served a longer jail term.
17:03 July 20, 2010 by Keith #5083
Yes, Nachos. I am a pretty liberal chap, always willing to give a helping hand and always trying to be compassionate, but I am losing patience with those who come into a society and neither wish to integrate into it nor choose to live by the rules and standards of that society.

If people wish to enjoy the rights and freedoms of western countries then they should pay the same price as we who live here - namely, accept the responsibilities of good citizenship which accompany those rights.

If you do not wish to accept those responsibilities then you have, de facto, chosen to reject the country in which you reside and have gained citizenship. Repatriation is, therefore, simply a fulfillment of your wish.
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