Four plead not guilty to Danish newspaper 'massacre plot' | world | Hindustan Times
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Four plead not guilty to Danish newspaper 'massacre plot'

world Updated: Apr 14, 2012 08:53 IST
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Four men pled not guilty on Friday as they went on trial in Denmark over a suspected plot to massacre the staff of a newspaper that first published controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

The four men -- three Swedish nationals and one Tunisian resident of Sweden -- face charges of "attempted terrorism" over what prosecutors say was a plot to "kill a large number of people" at the Jyllands-Posten daily's offices in Copenhagen.

Jyllands-Posten published a dozen cartoons in 2005 of the Prophet Mohammed that triggered violent and sometimes deadly protests around the world.

A machine gun with a silencer, a revolver and 108 bullets and reams of duct tape were among the items found in the men's possession when they were arrested on December 29, 2010.

As the trial at the Glostrup district court opened Friday, the four, aged 29, 30, 37 and 44 at the time of their arrest, all pled not guilty through their lawyers.

Public broadcaster DR meanwhile said they all risked "a historically severe punishment," with up to 14 years behind bars.

Three of the four men arrived in Copenhagen on December 29, 2010 in a rented car from Stockholm and had, according to police, planned to storm the Jyllands-Posten offices located in the heart of the capital, and "kill as many people as possible".

Danish police, who had been collaborating with their Swedish counterparts and had been wiretapping the men, arrested them just after hearing them say they were "going to" the newspaper office.

The fourth man, a Swedish citizen of Tunisian origin, was arrested the same day in Stockholm, and was extradited to Denmark.