Denmark detains third man over burning of prime minister effigy

Denmark detains third man over burning of prime minister effigy
An effigy of PM Mette Frederiksen -- with the words 'she can and must be culled' -- burns in Copenhagen on Saturday. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
A 32-year-old man has become the third person to be remanded in custody after an effigy of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was hung up and burned during protests against coronavirus restrictions.

The man will remain in police custody until February 19th along with two others, aged 34 and 30, who were detained over the case on Sunday.

The 32-year-old admitted to hanging the effigy from a lamppost during Saturday night’s disturbances in Copenhagen but denied setting it alight.

“Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine this would cause as much trouble as it has,” he said in court.

The effigy, on which a picture of Frederiksen’s face was affixed along with a sign bearing the words “she can and must be culled”, was hung from a lamp post and set on fire during protests in which around 1,000 people took part.

According to the 32-year-old, he brought the effigy to the protests with the two other suspects before being apprehended by police.

“We were stopped by some officers. They thought it was a woman who had fallen down. They asked of she was okay and we explained that it was just a doll,” he said.

“We ask them if it’s okay and they looked for a while. They then went away,” he added.

According to prosecution documents, the police officers in their account said they were called to the demonstration at the nearby Åboulevard street, and therefore left the three men with the effigy. The men then proceeded to Julius Thomsens Plads, the location where they fastened it to the lamp post.

They then claim to have left the scene but witnessed the effigy being set alight from a distance.

All three could face charges under Danish law’s paragraph 113, which protects against attacks on the government and can give up to 16 years in prison.

But the judge, Christian Wenzel, has already said he does not believe there is cause to imprison them in accordance with what would be a serious conviction.

“The paragraph on high treason is probably an overreach,” he said in a judgement on Monday.

The men have been remanded in custody under two other paragraphs, 115 and 266, which relate to crimes against the government and threatening behaviour, respectively. All three deny the charges.

READ ASLO: Five arrested after anti-lockdown demo in Danish capital


Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.