Chechen-born man goes on trial for Danish hotel bombing
May 16, 2011, 11:41 GMT
Copenhagen - A Chechen-born man facing a charge of terrorism for a botched bomb attack in Denmark last year went on trial in Copenhagen on Monday.
Authorities suspect the 25-year-old defendant had set out to target the Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed in 2005, sparking riots worldwide.
The defendant told the court he been unaware of the Mohammed cartoons until he was in Danish custody, and had travelled to Denmark as a tourist since he 'wanted a change of scene.'
The parcel bomb exploded in the toilet of a Copenhagen hotel. Police arrested the man at a nearby park.
Asked about the explosives he took with him on the bus from Belgium to Denmark, he said he had found them in Liege where he had lived for some years.
The explosives were packed in a metal container that he had planned to hang on his hotel door as protection. When he ended up in a dormitory he decided he did not need the device, and was trying to disarm it when it exploded.
The court was shown images of the hotel toilet after the blast, including traces of small metal balls in the ceiling.
Prosecutors say evidence, including a note with the address of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, suggests that it was the target. The newspaper is based in the western city of Arhus.
The prosecution said he viewed the newspaper's website on a computer he borrowed from a Japanese tourist on the eve of the September 10 blast.
The defendant said the reason he had looked up the newspaper's online site was that he was looking for a job, and that online sites were sometimes available in other languages.
His lawyer earlier said his client denies terrorism but has admitted to possessing a handgun and ammunition.
The court was due to hear testimony from 11 people including hotel employees and forensic experts.
The defendant used several identities. A Danish newspaper traced him to a boxing club in the city of Liege where he trained although his right leg was amputated below the knee.
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