• Sweden edition
 
Court upholds acquittals in Vilks murder plot case

Court upholds acquittals in Vilks murder plot case

Published: 24 Sep 2012 12:14 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Sep 2012 12:14 GMT+02:00

A court of appeal in Gothenburg has upheld the acquittal of three men charged with having plotted to murder Swedish artist Lars Vilks.

Following the same line of reasoning applied by the lower court, the appeals court found that there were a number of circumstances that raised suspicions that the three men had been planning an attack on Vilks, who has been the target of numerous death threats since his drawing of the Prophet Muhammad as a dog was first published by a Swedish regional newspaper in 2007.

For example, the suspects were looking for Vilks at an art exhibition at the Röda Sten gallery in Gothenburg on the night of September 11th, 2011 – the night they were arrested.

All three were also carrying knives at the time of their arrests, and had given police faulty information about what they had been doing in the days prior to the arrests.

But according to the court of appeal, there is no concrete evidence linking the suspects to claims by the prosecutor that they intended to murder Vilks, even if the men were no strangers to violence.

The prosecutor appealed the district court's acquittal of the men to the Court of Appeal for Western Sweden because she believed there was sufficient evidence for a conviction.

The three men were arrested along with a fourth man, no longer considered a suspect, by an elite counter-terrorism unit in Gothenburg.

The unit had evacuated hundreds of people from the Röda Sten gallery as it hosted a September art fair "after concluding that there was a threat that could endanger lives or health or cause serious damage".

Vilks had initially said on his blog that he would attend the art fair although he did not in the end.

The three suspects – one Somali citizen and two Swedes in their mid-20s – were all carrying knives when they were arrested and were, according to the prosecution, planning to stab Vilks to death.

The men were initially suspected of terror crimes, but the charges were later downgraded to preparing to commit murder.

All three men were however convicted and fined for violating Sweden's weapons laws.

TT/The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

13:06 September 24, 2012 by bourgeoisieboheme
I don't think this is the last time we read about these guys in the news. If they were ready to kill before, they will do it again and maybe get away with it. The blood is on the courts hands next time. Lord help the future victims of these animals.
14:19 September 24, 2012 by Ale Komvux
Interesting!
14:21 September 24, 2012 by Swedish Cat
Terrible. We should really have 0 tolerance regarding this type of behaviour. The court just told thease nimals that this is OK i Sweden. I am chocked,
15:39 September 24, 2012 by Morenikeji
This is a very sloppy reporting. When the reporter/s wrote: "For example, the suspects were looking for Vilks at an art exhibition at the Röda Sten gallery in Gothenburg on the night of September 11th, 2011 - the night they were arrested." It's this what the reporter/s know to be true or quoting any authority in the case? For those who have followed the case in the mainstream media, the argument of the prosecutor in this case is not water-tight.

The defence has pointed out the fact that unfortunately many young people carry knifes around in Sweden without even knowing that it is against the law. The prosecutor could not prove that the knifes the accused were carrying was meant to harm Vilks.
17:29 September 24, 2012 by prince T
this is a continued mockery of swedish legal system. I dont blame assange anymore. no retreat no surrentder is the moitve of these people.

they will be more careful next time. to think they will not continue with their terrorisst act is wishful thinking.

somali terrorists are the worst form of terrrorism. they bomb their own people just for watching football world cup, films, celebrating new year day and so on. they are solidly convinced that all somalians are muslims. though i have met christians somalians.
17:34 September 24, 2012 by Richard Head
If this judge wants to be naive about the intentions of these guys then fine, uphold the acquittal, but DEPORT them on the weapons charges!!! Whatever it takes to get these people out of the country, use it. They are of no use to Europe.
21:54 September 24, 2012 by RobinHood
Is there anybody in Sweden, apart from the judges, who doesn't think these guys were after Mr Vilks that night?
08:49 September 25, 2012 by robban70226
ust another example of polis incompetence and naive prosecutors, Well Vilks like to play with fire so why is he like a hole rat hiding? play with fire so be prepare to be burned, no sympathy from me, he get what he deserve .. coward big mouth ''journalist''
09:58 September 25, 2012 by ericrufinosiah
Hopefully,when the national Election comes,the Swedish natives should know

which party to vote,for a better Sweden- land of the great Vikings.
18:35 September 25, 2012 by ctinej
A recent capture of Somali Pirates resulted in their being set free according to international law, but........... somehow they all died before reaching the shore.
11:05 September 27, 2012 by Swedish Cat
Robin Hood,, no, not a singe person was wondering what these guys were doing sept 11 with a knife looking for Viiks.

Please start proving to us that your religion is one of peace and guess what..the so called "racism, slamming, cartoons" will stop! Why do we protect and almost accept that Muslims behave this way? If this was for ex Breivik just failing his mission he would still be prosecuted to as offcourse NOT acceptable. Breivik was also fighting a religious war in what he in his mind strongly believed in... What is the difference?
Today's headlines
Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden
Michael Boatwright (R) and Medieval knight re-enactors.

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden

The "motel mystery" American who baffled US authorities by only speaking Swedish when he woke up from a coma last year has passed away, Swedish media reported on Wednesday. READ () »

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king

UPDATED: Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits. READ () »

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop
TeliaSonera CEO Johan Dennelind. File photo: TT

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop

Stockholm-listed telecom operator TeliaSonera on Wednesday said profits had fallen in the first quarter, but hoped offering customers more data solutions in the future would turn things around. READ () »

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'
Fredrik Reinfeldt. File photo: TT

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Wednesday urged young voters to head to the European parliamentary polls on May 25th "to cure the European disease of nationalism". READ () »

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg at the first quarter press conference. Photo: TT

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson on Wednesday announced a drop in sales but posted a sharp rise in first-quarter profit, which nonetheless fell shy of analyst predictions. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping brawl
Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals

Swedish police fear that several people involved in a brawl in eastern Sweden on Monday night may be seeking revenge after two brothers were shot dead. READ () »

Sponsored Article
Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden
The town of Västervik.

Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden

Ask a Swede, and they are likely to say that their favourite holiday spot is in the southeast of Sweden. Eastern Småland and Öland offer a smörgåsbord of all the things dearest to the Swedes - from the beloved children's book author Astrid Lindgren to deep forests, long sandy beaches, perfect spots for that all-important 'fika', and a surprising amount of space, peace and quiet. READ () »

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth
Swedes enjoy hot dogs and cherry blossoms in Stockholm's Kungsträdgården. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth

The sun is set to stick around and temperatures could climb into the twenties over the weekend, Swedish meteorologists said on Wednesday READ () »

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

A 21-year-old man confessed on Wednesday to sex crimes against eight children at a day care where he was working as an intern. READ () »

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles
An unrelated bodybuilder. File photo: Ann Törnkvist

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles

Police in Sweden's south who hauled a muscular man in for steroid testing have had their knuckles rapped, after it was ruled that big biceps cannot be grounds for narcotics suspicions. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
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
Advertisement:
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
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
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 »

718
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