The man who broke into Mohammed cartoonist Kurt Westergaard’s home on New Year’s Day last year has been sentenced to nine years in prison for attempting to commit an act of terrorism. The 29-year-old Somalian, Mohamed Geele will also be deported after his sentence.
Today’s sentence was handed down by the Aarhus Municipal Court after a unanimous jury found Geele guilty yesterday. In addition to the terrorism charge, he was also found guilty of attempted murder against Westergaard, whose drawing of Mohammed with a bomb-shaped turban was one of 12 depictions of the prophet published in 2005 by Jyllands-Posten newspaper.
Geele, who was armed with an axe and a knife during the attack, had also been charged with the attempted murder of a police officer during the attack but was convicted of the lesser charge of aggravated assault.
Geele has appealed the decision to the Western High Court. His attorney, Niels Christian Strauss, said he disagreed with the court’s decision that breaking into Westergaard’s home and attempting to kill him constituted terrorism because it was meant to scare the public and destabilise society.
Strauss argued that an attack on an individual did not meet the definition of terrorism.
The court in the city of Aarhus sentenced Muhudiin Mohamed Geele to be expelled from Denmark and banned from the country for life after serving his sentence, a police official said.
From September 2009 to the time of the attack, the convicted man sought information on the Internet many times about militant Islamic groups’ opinions on the Mohammad drawings and Westergaard, the court said in the statement.
The prosecutor had asked for a 12-year sentence, but the defence lawyer had argued for no more than six years and said he would lodge an appeal, Danish media reported.
He was acquitted of another manslaughter charge, brought because he threw his axe at a police officer who arrived to arrest him, but was convicted of assaulting the officer.
For attempted murder, this is a relatively light sentence. But as long as he has NO chance of parole for nine years and will be deported, he will not be a threat to Westergaard again. However, unfortunatley, Westergaard will have to live in fear while the next Muslim extremist attempts to kill him.
And, over what?