COPENHAGEN: A Danish court has said it will deliver a verdict on Monday on four men accused of planning a “Mumbai-style” attack on a Danish newspaper whose publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in 2005 prompted a Muslim outcry.
The men, three Swedes and a Tunisian, have pleaded not guilty, denying allegations they had planned to kill many people at the Copenhagen offices of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper.
One of the accused has pleaded guilty to illegally possessing weapons, a charge the others have denied.
A verdict had not been expected until June 15, but the proceedings have gone more quickly than planned.
“Firstly, the trial has been smooth with few interruptions, and secondly, one of the accused has refused to make any comments,” defence lawyer Carsten Halle told Reuters.
The four were arrested in a joint Danish-Swedish police operation in the suburbs of Copenhagen and Stockholm on December 29, 2010.
Police, who had been tracking the men for some time, have said the attack was to have been carried out “within days” and the plotters intended to “kill as many as possible” in the building that houses Jyllands-Posten.
In 2008, Pakistan-based militants killed 166 people in a three-day shooting and bombing rampage in the Indian city of Mumbai.
When the Copenhagen trial opened on April 13, one of the accused was heard saying on recordings from a police interrogation that the other three had planned the attack on Jyllands-Posten, but that he wanted no part in it.
He then said the plot was a response to the caricatures of the Prophet (PBUH), which he said had continued to provoke Muslims.
Police have said they found a machinegun with a silencer and ammunition and plastic strips for possible use as handcuffs in the assault planned for Jan. 1, 2011.
Jyllands-Posten was the first to print a dozen cartoons lampooning the Prophet (PBUH) in 2005, igniting protests against Danish interests abroad and riots in several countries in the Middle East, Africa to Asia in 2006 in which at least 50 people died.