The sentence of the man who attacked cartoonist Kurt Westergaard with an axe has been confirmed at 10 years after the case finally ended in Denmark’s highest court. Muhudiin Muhammed Geele, 30, has been charged under terrorism clauses, as the Supreme Court ruled that his actions were “an attempt to seriously frighten the population” and “an attempt to limit the freedom of speech and prevent a public debate”.
Geele broke into Westergaard’s house on New Year’s Day, 2010, in retaliation to cartoons of the holy Muslim Prophet Muhammad that were draw by the Dane and published by Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2005. Westergaard, who was looking after his young granddaughter at the time, raised the alarm and took refuge in a specially-modified safe room.
Geele tried to hack the door down with the axe, but was forced to flee when police arrived. He was also charged with trying to injure an officer after he threw the axe towards police in an attempt to get away.
The case is now concluded after going through three Danish courts. The Aarhus Municipal Court originally gave Geele a nine-year sentence, which was increased to 10 years by the Western High Court. The Supreme Court denied a request to extend the sentence to 12 years but upheld the decision to banish Geele from Denmark following the completion of his punishment.