20 Jan 2011

Attacker of cartoonist on trial

3:42 pm on 20 January 2011

A Somali man is on trial in Denmark accused of trying to kill a cartoonist whose drawings of the Prophet Mohammed offended many people in the Muslim world.

Mohamed Geele, 29, is charged with attempted murder and terrorism for breaking into the house of cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and threatening his life.

Prosecutors say the accused broke into Mr Westergaard's home carrying an axe.

The BBC reports he admitted breaking in with an illegal weapon when he appeared in court in Aarhus on Wednesday. But he denied charges of attempted murder and terrorism.

Kurt Westergaard's cartoon of a turban bomb was one of 12 published in a Danish newspaper in 2005 that prompted protests among Muslims around the world.

Mr Westergaard first went into hiding but then decided to live openly in a heavily fortified house.

On New Year's Day in 2010 he said his front door was broken down by an attacker while he was in the house with his grand-daughter, aged five.

He rushed into a panic room and called the police who arrived minutes later and shot and wounded a man.

The BBC reports the cartoons still appear to be a source of anger.

In December, Danish police arrested five men suspected of planning an attack on the newspaper that originally published them, Jyllands-Posten.