Chechen jailed over botched Danish bombing

31st May 2011, Comments 0 comments

A court jailed a Belgian of Chechen origin for 12 years on Tuesday over a botched attack on a Danish newspaper in which a makeshift bomb exploded in his hands.

Prosecutors said Lors Dukayev intended to attack the Jyllands-Posten paper in revenge for its publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed but the device exploded while he was preparing it in a Copenhagen hotel last September.

"The prosecution believes Lors Dukayev was going to perpetrate this attack if the bomb meant for Jyllands-Posten had not exploded in his hands," prosecutor Rikke Jensen told journalists after the verdict was read.

Jyllands-Posten was the the first newspaper to publish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005, leading to an outcry in the Muslim world.

Dukayev denied he was planning an attack and only brought explosives to Denmark to defend himself from Chechen enemies.

"I did not do what I'm accused of," he said after the verdict.

Dukayev, who lost a leg after reportedly being struck by a landmine in Chechnya when he was 12 years old, was arrested last September 10 shortly after mistakenly setting off a small blast in the budget Joergensen hotel in downtown Copenhagen.

His lawyer, Niels Ancker Rasmussen, asked for a period of reflection, granted by law, before lodging an eventual appeal.

According to Rasmussen, the sentence is "heavy when we compare it to the nine years handed down to a Somali man who wanted to kill cartoonist Kurt Westergaard in an machete attack".

Westergaard was the author of the most controversial drawings of the prophet Mohammed that inflamed Muslim anger internationally.

"Dukayev remains an enigma," said his lawyer. "Doubts still exist on his motives and nothing indicates that he had targets in Denmark or that he held inflamed opinions against Jyllands-Posten," he said referring to hard drive searches on his client's computer by Belgian police.

The prosecution maintains that Dukayev was found in possession of Islamist propaganda and explosives manuals."

He was also found with false identity papers and Jyllands-Posten's mailing address.

Dukayev should be freed after serving half his sentence, as is standard in Denmark. He will then be deported for life.

© 2011 AFP

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