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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)

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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.
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