Norway: two found guilty in Muhammad cartoon case
An Oslo court on Monday sentenced two men to prison for planning to bomb the Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, in Norway’s first ever guilty verdict for “plotting to commit a terrorist act.”
Norwegian national Mikael Davud, a member of China’s Uighur minority considered the mastermind behind the plot against the Jyllands-Posten daily, was sentenced to seven years behind bars.
Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak, an Iraqi Kurd residing in Norway, meanwhile received a three-and-a-half-year prison term.
According to the prosecution, the two men had in liaison with Al-Qaeda planned to use explosives against the offices of the Danish newspaper and to murder Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist behind the most controversial of the 12 drawings of the Muslim Prophet published in September 2005.
Westergaard’s drawing, which has earned him numerous death threats and an assassination attempt, showed Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse.
The prosecution had demanded prison sentences of 11 and five years respectively.
“There is no doubt that it was Davud who took the initiative in the preparations for a terrorist act and that he was the central character,” the three judges said in their ruling.
“The court also believes that it was he himself who would have carried out the terrorist attack since he has explained that he planned to lay out the explosives himself,” they added.
The judges also said the prosecution had proven “beyond any doubt that Davud knowingly and voluntarily plotted with Al-Qaeda to carry out a bomb attack against Jyllands-Posten with a bomb that was so powerful that he understood human life could be lost.”
The court did not however find it proven that the men had planned to assassinate Westergaard. (via The Local)