• Sweden edition
 

Two Swedes acquitted of plotting terror crimes

Published: 02 Mar 2011 11:10 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Mar 2011 13:19 GMT+01:00

The two men, Mohamoud Jama, 23, and 26-year-old Bille Ilias Mohamed, had been sentenced in December by the Gothenburg district court to four years in prison.

Swedish prosecutors appealed the verdict, only to have the Court of Appeal for Western Sweden release the two men at the conclusion of the trial, pending the announcement of the verdict.

In a unanimous ruling, the appeals court came to the same conclusion as a minority of justices on the district court, namely that the evidence was insufficient to convict the men.

"The appeals court therefore dismisses the case against both people," the court said in a statement

The court ruled that prosecutors hadn't been able to back up their claims, which meant that the court never examined the human rights aspects of the case concerning whether or not the al-Shabaab militia was involved in an armed conflict.

The men had been held in remand for several months in a case in which prosecutors relied on evidence gathered from wiretaps carried out by Swedish security service Säpo.

The original lower court decision had said the two Swedish citizens "had taken it upon themselves, and decided with the Somali Islamist al-Shabaab militia to commit terrorist crimes in the form of suicide attacks."

It said both men were members and sympathisers of the al-Shabaab movement, which has declared allegiance to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network and controls most of southern and central Somalia.

Both men denied the charges against them, but one of them has admitted that he spent time in an al-Shabaab training camp.

The appeals court however said the evidence presented by prosecutor Agnetha Hilding Qvarnström was not enough to convict the two.

Tapped phone conversations showed that both Jama and Mohamed "have strong sympathies for the terrorist organization al-Shabaab and the organization's methods and that they ... went to Somalia with the intention to physically join al-Shabaab."

It was shown that "they were in fact in contact with al-Shabaab and ... expressed that they were not opposed to or even wanted to die as martyrs," the appeal court said in its ruling.

However, it pointed out, "it is not punishable ... to have sympathies with terrorist organizations or even to join an organization, if joining does not automatically entail a commitment to commit a (terrorist) crime.

"It is also not punishable to have decided to commit a terrorist crime as long as the personal conviction does not lead to a decision made with another person," the court said.

It could not be ruled out that the two men aimed to have another role within al-Shabaab than that of suicide bombers, the court added.

Jama's lawyer Richard Backenroth said the freeing of his client proved the Swedish judiciary worked well.

"It's a happy end to this story that the prosecutor and security police have been working on," he told the local Göteborgs-Posten (GP) daily.

Prosecutor Qvarnström said Wednesday she was not surprised at the ruling, pointing out that the court had decided at the end of the trial three weeks ago to release the two men pending the verdict.

"This was not completely unexpected," she told the TT news agency, adding that the case had been "very difficult" to prosecute.

Asked whether she planned to appeal to the Supreme Court, she said it might be difficult to get the country's highest court to review a case where the jurisprudence was not in question, but which had been dismissed due to a lack of evidence.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

11:28 March 2, 2011 by Rishonim
I live in a country with a very stupid justice system. They let go two terrorist yet they will vest every legal efforts trying to convict a file sharing kid.
11:48 March 2, 2011 by Rebel
Good thing the men in question have not been accused by Swedish women of having sex with them while they were waking up the day after having sex with them. That would be bad.
12:49 March 2, 2011 by flintis
The law is an ass, especially in Sweden.
15:58 March 2, 2011 by truthworthy
This is what i have been arguing since these guys were jailed, Sweden has no business to interfere the civil war in Somalia. These men did not planned anything against Sweden and there is no proof they planned to do violence in Somalia.

Good that they are free now, it was shame they were first jailed for such baseless arguments.
16:19 March 2, 2011 by buschmann
Swedish citizens, who don't have a drop of swedish or european blood in them want to kill swedes by blowing themselfs up and free to walk the streets. A proper tribute for Olaf Palme.
16:36 March 2, 2011 by AHA
"It is also not punishable to have decided to commit a terrorist crime as long as the personal conviction does not lead to a decision made with another person," the court said.

What kind of MAMBO JUMBO is that?

Refugees who abuse the Swedih Citizenship should be deprived of it and sent back to where they came from.
17:01 March 2, 2011 by calebian22
.."but one of them has admitted that he spent time in an al-Shabaab training camp."

No doubt he was on vacation and just learning how to basketweave with a peaceful faction of Al-Shabaab. Ridiculous.
18:48 March 2, 2011 by technoviking
Now they can blow themselves up in Drottninggatan instead of Somalia... Good work.

More excellent Swedish "assimilation" in action.
19:42 March 2, 2011 by Grandson of Swedish Emigrants
OK, when innocent Swedish citizens start to die from terrorists, somebody please go to the homes of the judges that made the following rulings and ask them to assume the responsibility for their actions.

"...Both men denied the charges against them, but one of them has admitted that he spent time in an al-Shabaab training camp.

...Tapped phone conversations showed that both Jama and Mohamed "have strong sympathies for the terrorist organisation al-Shebab and the organisation's methods and that they ... went to Somalia with the intention to physically join al-Shabaab."

It was shown that "they were in fact in contact with al-Shabaab and ... expressed that they were not opposed to or even wanted to die as martyrs," the appeal court said in its ruling.

However, it pointed out, "it is not punishable ... to have sympathies with terrorist organisations or even to join an organisation, if joining does not automatically entail a commitment to commit a (terrorist) crime."

So the bottom line is Swedes will allow people to go overseas to participate in terrorist training camps, come back to Sweden, communicate with terrorists about things that might be done and the judicial system is just fine with that.

Maybe someone should pass a law that says it is illegal to go overseas and train with known terrorist organizations, but then that might be too judgmental!
19:58 March 2, 2011 by Ravioli
Great. Now these two are back in society to help 'culturally enrich' Sweden even more.
20:06 March 2, 2011 by buschmann
It is also not a punishable to have decided to commit a terrorist crime as long as the personal conviction does not lead to a decision made with another person.) Does that mean a person who acts alone can plan and prepare for a terrosit attack. If a person who is acting alone fails to successfully detonate an explosive device is he still innocent?
Today's headlines
Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Forecasters have predicted sunshine across Sweden this week, with a warm front moving in from Russia and temperatures of up to 25C. READ  

International police hunt
Swedish killer arrested after European hunt
Photo: Police

Swedish killer arrested after European hunt

UPDATED: Police arrested a man on Tuesday afternoon after he went missing from a psychiatric ward in western Sweden at the weekend. The man had been convicted of murdering a five-year-old schoolgirl in 2003. READ  

Music
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Swedish singer Tove Lo. Photot: TT

The five best Swedish songs of the month

The summer may be (almost) over but the music will keep on playing here at The Local. Our resident music guru Paul Connolly will be selecting his top new Swedish tracks for us in a new monthly feature. READ  

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

African pygmy hedgehogs are being bought by growing numbers of Swedes, as a trend for keeping exotic pets sweeps the country, the Department for Animal Welfare and Health tells The Local. READ  

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden
The mushroom in this picture is not the same as the one from the story. Photo: Shutterstock

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden

A person selling freshly-picked mushrooms in Gothenburg has come under fire after it turned out the delicacies were not only poisonous but also hallucinogenic. READ  

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

The largest hacking case in Danish history began in confusion on Tuesday, after lawyers representing Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg accused the prosecution of "unreasonable" tactics. READ  

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

As H&M expands into Ethiopia, Sweden's state venture capital unit Swedfund has announced that it will back the clothing giant, in a move hoped to create more jobs for local women. READ  

Elections 2014
Social Democrats reveal election manifesto
Photo: TT

Social Democrats reveal election manifesto

UPDATED: Sweden's main opposition party the Social Democrats has revealed its election manifesto at a press conference at a high school in Stockholm, with a key focus on education and welfare benefits. READ  

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

A teenage boy is in a critical condition after he was hit by a passing metro train in Stockholm. The accident ground rail traffic to a halt, and has police suspecting attempted murder. READ  

Swimrun
Record win at Sweden's tough island race
Photo: Jakob Edholm/ÖTILLÖ14

Record win at Sweden's tough island race

Two Swedes crushed last year's course record at the Swimrun world championship in Stockholm's archipelago on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
National
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Politics
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Blog updates

02 September

America night (Blogweiser) »

" There was an event this weekend for the ‘Americans in Sweden’ Facebook group. I’m a member, and I brought my girls to the evening. The gathering was at a Boston-themed sportsbar in a mall. There were loads of screens, a bowling alley, a game room and a jumbotron. It was as good a place as any to..." READ »

 

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

757
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se