Cake shover, 60, on trial for Åkesson attack
Published: 25 Mar 2014 15:35 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Mar 2014 15:35 GMT+01:00
- Sweden Democrat leader ambushed in cake attack (06 Nov 13)
The anti-immigration Sweden Democrat leader took the stand via telephone on Tuesday as proceedings began against the Swedish woman who shoved a cake in his face at a book signing event in November.
"At first I was very surprised. The next emotion was fear," Åkesson testified.
Åkesson was signing copies of his new book Satis Polito under a tent in Nytorget on Stockholm's Södermalm (see video below) when the 60-year-old went on the attack, smearing cream cake in the minority party leader's face. Agents from the security service Säpo quickly whisked a sullied and shocked Åkesson away from the scene.
His assailant was one of an estimated 200 or so counter-demonstrators on hand. She was detained but soon released, later to be charged with harassment (ofredande).
Åkesson has claimed 5,000 kronor ($780) in damages against her for violating his integrity, while he has also said she should pay his dry-cleaning bill of 300 kronor ($48).
"It was a violation of me as a person and to some degree of me as a politician," Åkesson explained on the phone to the Stockholm District Court.
He further said that she had looked like a nice lady when she approached him at the book signing, before she called him a 'fascist shit' and launched the cake at him.
Åkesson said the attack had caused more than a dry-cleaning bill, as he had since become more selective about the public events he attends, and as late as last week cancelled his attendance at an event in Gothenburg.
"It's always a difficult balancing act," he explained. "You don't know how near you should let the public be to you."
The woman, identified as Irene in an interview with the newspaper Expressen, said she had planned her attack in detail, pretending to want her copy of the nook signed.
She said she had a political motive for assaulting him.
"Because I detest racists and because he is a symbol for racism, nazism, and neo-fascim," Irene told Expressen last year.
Video of the incident courtesy of Sveriges Television