Four men charged after attack on Turkish embassy in Copenhagen

Four men face serious charges over a Molotov cocktail attack on the Turkish embassy in Copenhagen earlier this year.

Four men charged after attack on Turkish embassy in Copenhagen
The Turkish embassy in Copenhagen on March 19th. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Scanpix 2018

The men are to face the most serious form of criminal charges relating to arson for attempting to set light to the embassy on March 19th.

Although the building only suffered superficial damage, the men will face trial for attempting to cause “comprehensive destruction of another’s property or to cause chaos or otherwise disturb social order,” according to a charge sheet released by Copenhagen Police on Monday.

The four men are connected to Kurdish organisations, tabloid newspaper Ekstra Bladet has previously reported.

The paragraph chosen by the prosecution is normally reserved for cases in which lives were put at risk by arson.

No-one was present in the embassy, which is located in the suburb of Hellerup north of the Danish capital, at the time of the incident. The damage inflicted on the building was cosmetic, Copenhagen Police Chief Superintendent Peter Dahl told Ritzau the day after the attack, which occurred at 3am on March 19th.

A nearby police patrol saw two young people fleeing from the scene after several Molotov cocktails had been thrown at the embassy.

National security service PET and Copenhagen Police later arrested four people in connection with the case. They were subsequently remanded in custody.

Leading politicians commented on the incident at the time. Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen tweeted that it was “very serious”, while Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen wrote that “an attack on an embassy is an attack against the state of Denmark.”

The four men, whose ages range from 19 to 23, deny the charges. The trial is scheduled to take place on a number of days in December, January and February.

READ ALSO: Turkish embassy in Copenhagen hit by Molotov cocktail attack


Danish politicians demand freeze on weapons exports to Turkey

Denmark should follow the example of Nordic neighbours Norway and Sweden and halt weapons exports to Turkey, two left-wing parties in parliament have demanded.

Danish politicians demand freeze on weapons exports to Turkey
Pia Olsen Dyhr in parliament. Photo: Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix

The Red Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) and Socialist People’s Party (SF), part of a three-party group which props up the Social Democratic government, made the calls after Norway and Sweden both announced they would move to suspend all new arms exports to Turkey.

The decisions from Oslo and Stockholm came country after Turkey launched a military offensive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria.

“We must absolutely follow Norway and Sweden’s examples and ensure we immediately stop all weapon sales to Turkey from Denmark, and recommend to the EU next week a full European freeze on weapons exports,” Red Green Alliance foreign spokesperson Eva Flyvholm said.

SF’s leader Pia Olsen Dyhr echoed those sentiments.

“Denmark should, like other Nordic countries, stop all export of military equipment. We cannot justify selling weapons to a country which uses them against an ally in the fight against international terrorism,” Dyhr said in an email to Ritzau.

“We can’t stop Erdogan’s aggressive behaviour alone. So we need other European countries to join us,” she added.

The third government ally, the Social Liberals, have taken a more cautious position, with foreign policy spokesperson Martin Lidegaard advocating options for a joint EU response be drafted.

READ ALSO: Denmark summons Turkish ambassador over Syria offensive