• Sweden edition
 
GOTHENBURG MURDER PLOT
Court orders Vilks plot suspects released

Court orders Vilks plot suspects released

Published: 28 Dec 2011 16:36 GMT+01:00
Updated: 28 Dec 2011 16:36 GMT+01:00

The three men accused of planning to murder controversial Swedish artist Lars Vilks in a foiled attack in Gothenburg on September should be sentenced to prison, prosecutors argued in their closing arguments on Wednesday.

"My client is incredibly relieved," defence attorney Urban Gilborne told the TT news agency following news of his client's release, announced late Wednesday afternoon by the Gothenburg District Court.

"I've also spoken with his family and they are overjoyed and excited that he's coming home."

According to Gilborne, the court's decision to life the remand order on the three suspects, who have been held in custody since September, is a sign that they are innocent.

He emphasized, however, that the final verdict won't be announced until January 20th.

"I've claimed the whole time that the evidence was weak," he said.

Vilks, known for his controversial artwork published in Nerikes Allehanda in 2007, has been subject to several attacks and threats and has received plenty of media attention.

During a four day hearing, which concluded on Wednesday, prosecutors attempted to prove that the three men suspects intended to murder Vilks during a biennial art show at the Röda Sten gallery in Göteborg on September 11th.

The evidence against the three men, identified in court documents as Abdi Aziz Mahamud, a 26-year-old Somali citizen living in Sweden, and Swedish citizens Salar Sami Mahamood, 24, and Abdi Weli Mohamud, 26, consists of recordings of telephone calls between them.

But Ulf Ahlstedt, the lawyer representing one of the three men, argued that the recordings weren't sufficient enough to prove his clients' guilt.

“The recording quality of the telephone calls is not clear enough and this evidence cannot be relied on,” said Ahlstedt to news agency TT.

In closing arguments, the prosecutor argued the suspects should be convicted of conspiracy to murder and sentenced to at least three years in prison.

In addition, the alleged murder plot could be seen as an attack on Vilks' freedom of expression, which strengthens the cause for conviction, the prosecutor said.

Whilst the men admit that they hate Vilks, they deny having plotted his murder.

Swedish security service Säpo had had men under observation for several months prior to their arrest in early September 2011.

A female police officer, whose identity has been protected, said in testimony via telephone that the decision to arrest the three suspects was issued by officials at Säpo headquarters in Stockholm.

However, she refused to elaborate on why Säpo had been conducting surveillance on the men.

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

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:49 December 28, 2011 by canuk
I think that more somali's should come to sweden, obviously they have not reached critical mass.
17:00 December 28, 2011 by Grokh
I wonder what would happen if sweden organized a Blasphemy parade where all religions would be equally made fun of.
18:05 December 28, 2011 by jvtx3232
In that case Grokh, only the Muslims would flip out and become hyper-sensitive and over-react and become volatile and violent. They would hysterically and repeatedly yell out "Allah Ackbar!" and try to kill people and stuff.
19:28 December 28, 2011 by donutwallah
"she refused to elaborate on why Säpo had been conducting surveillance on the men" - because they're jihadists maybe?
20:37 December 28, 2011 by bramblebush
@ Grokh: Sweden should "blasphem" all religions. At least Sweden wouldn't be hypocrites. Religions are nothing but superstitions.
21:25 December 28, 2011 by godnatt
Just some more normal upstanding citizens caught in a misunderstanding I'm sure...

Hopefully these guys get an unexpected flight to parts unknown courtesy of CIA airlines shortly.
23:19 December 28, 2011 by Reason abd Realism
If the tapes were not clear, and the suspects knew that they where indeed guilty of nothing more than hatred, then each of the three suspects should have been individually (and in isolation from the other two) asked to clarify what they were saying, word for word. One can decipher one's own voice far better than some police interpreter. If a reasonable set of conversations emerges, then this would have confirmed their innocence.

If the re-contructed conversations turned out to be completely innocent of conspiracy to commit murder, then they could be released with compensation for their detention.

On the other hand if they were planning to commit murder, then the Swedes should be locked up for years, and the non Swede should be deported to some community within Somalia where he can happily participate in stonings, giving 500 lashes, conducting beheadings, and the many other fun practices enjoyed where Shariah law is strictly observed.
03:13 December 29, 2011 by Carbarrister
I was a prosecutor early in my career. This is pathetic. Memo to the prosecutor: Get better recording equipment, get the evidence in front of a better judge or get a different job.
07:04 December 29, 2011 by blik
Oh I get it .

You actually have to have to be allowed to complete your crime to be covicted of one.

Nice work Säpo.
12:30 December 29, 2011 by Twiceshy
They were arrested just to make racist propaganda against Muslims. SAPO and Vilks are together, they protect him after he made religious insulting and such insulting is racism. Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom to insult other people, in fact people can insult but there is the law to punish them for such racist insulting. Vilks is not in the prison, and he has political protection, it means that racism is institutional in Sweden.

Beside it, all so called patriots are fascists, so, no surprise that they are like a glue at newspaper for foreigners and many of them get money for working for SAPO. SAPO spies are fascists and they leave comments at TheLocal everyday. And they do it for money, surely not for free, SAPO finance Swedish Breiviks.
13:15 December 29, 2011 by Svensksmith
You insult me! I must keel you.
13:28 December 29, 2011 by flintis
@Twiceshy# you're talking out of your arse!!
04:51 December 30, 2011 by Reason abd Realism
@ Twiceshy

Vilks is not racist, he was insulting a belief system, not a race. Vilks (and most of us, but not you probably) are equally filled with hate for Jihad Jane, an insane but blond and blue eyed American Woman who also wanted to kill Vilks.

Christians used to burn people for heresy, but that was 400 years ago, and in fact one of the ten commandments in the Christian bible says that we should not pray to a false image of God, but we have ignored that commandment for centuries now, and most of us focus on commandments that actually make sense.

We would appreciate it, if you are Muslim, that as a resident of the West, you took a leadership role, and while telling Westerners not to draw cartoons that offend you, you should also tell all Muslims that murder for cartoons, or for writing a book like the Satanic Verses, is not an appropriate form or retaliation. An eye for an eye should mean a cartoon for a cartoon, not death for a cartoon.
08:50 December 30, 2011 by blik
@Twiceshy

Your paronoid delusions may be right.

You must get out of Sweden now before the Facist Swedish Jews come after you.

Save yourself now before its too late.

There are great number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa where you will find like minded people such as yousel and where I am sure you will make a happy life for yourself.
15:25 December 30, 2011 by DamnImmigrant
@Grokh - "I wonder what would happen if sweden organized a Blasphemy..."

Well wonder no more @Grokh because it has already been done many times over. It is called FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

@Grokh by blasphemy, WHO's "god" would you be referring to? I get upset when the followers of islam blasphemy the FSM, and they do it with IMPUNITY!!!

@Twiceshy, you have already been told that, since islam is NOT a race, there can be no RACISM against islam! You can be PREJUDICED but not racist! Likewise, you cannot be racist against Buddhists, a sports team or even the country of Sweden.

Your ignorance is then compounded by confusing BLASPHEMY, "religious insulting", with racism. Insults to religion are BLASPHEMY. Then you show how clueless you are regarding the meaning of FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

@Twiceshy, I do not blame you for this ignorance, I blame your educational system.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH, and likewise FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, is speech that when it is produced, WILL INDEED BE INSULTING to some people, or institutions! If your words insult 1 person or 5 billion people, it is still free speech!

@Twiceshy, your need to define everything in your world as racism shows your own deeply seated racist attitudes towards those around you.
Today's headlines
Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling. READ () »

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
A Swedish Easter witch holding daffodils. File photo: TT

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter

In India, I'd notice Easter only from the traffic jam outside the churches, but here witches, egg hunts, and feathers mark the Christian holiday. The Local's Deepti Vashisht brings you the various shades of Swedish Easter. READ () »

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Chemtrails?: Shutterstock.

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe

A Swedish MP who launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails tells The Local why he thinks Swedes deserve the truth, even if it may leave some conspiracy theorists unsatisfied. READ () »

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid
Fredrik Reinfeldt answers the constitutional affairs committee's questions. Photo: TT

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid

Sweden's prime minister on Thursday said Vattenfall itself, not its owners the Swedish state, had responsibility for the loss-making Nuon deal. READ () »

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer
Photo: TT

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer

A Swedish lawyer says the Swedish military may have broken the law when it raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp. READ () »

Good weather could blight Easter traffic
Easter traffic two years ago on the E4 motorway. File: Jessica Gow/TT

Good weather could blight Easter traffic

Traffic experts have cautioned Swedes heading to the countryside for what should be a sunny Easter, warning that the most serious accidents often take place when the weather is clement. READ () »

Saab offers Gripen lease to Malaysia
Jas Gripen jets in flight. File photo: TT

Saab offers Gripen lease to Malaysia

Swedish defence giant Saab has offered to rent out fighter jets to Malaysia. READ () »

What's On in Sweden

What's On in Sweden

Check out what's happening with The Local's guide to the main attractions and events in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö - in association with DoToday. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Advertisement:
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
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 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

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

748
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