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Denmark extends detention of Prime Minister's suspected attacker

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Denmark extends detention of Prime Minister's suspected attacker
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen arrives at a European People's Party (EPP) leaders meeting in Brussels, Belgium, 17th June 2024. Photo: Olivier Matthys/EPA/Ritzau Scanpix

The man accused of assaulting Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on a public square earlier this month will remain in custody until July 4th, a Copenhagen court ruled on Thursday.

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The 39-year-old Polish man is suspected of punching Frederiksen on June 7th as she walked in central Copenhagen, leaving her with a minor whiplash injury.

"The court has decided that the suspect will remain in custody until July 4th," a court official told AFP, following a hearing that lasted less than an hour.

The man, who was arrested immediately after the incident, has denied responsibility and says he has no recollection of what happened.

Frederiksen, 46, underwent a medical examination afterwards and was diagnosed with a "contusion on her right shoulder and a minor whiplash injury", according to her office.

A medical certificate was presented to the court on Thursday.

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Frederiksen and several witnesses have been questioned in the ongoing investigation, police said.

In police questioning, relayed to the court on Thursday, Frederiksen said the man approached her and uttered something incomprehensible, then hit her on the shoulder with a closed fist, Danish news agency Ritzau reported on Thursday.

READ ALSO: Danish PM Frederiksen makes first public appearance since assault

According to prosecutor Line Steffensen, the man was drunk and had stolen alcohol from a grocery store just prior to his encounter with the prime minister.

Steffensen said the man had been arrested on several occasions for shoplifting since moving to Denmark five years ago.

Frederiksen became Denmark's youngest ever prime minister when she was elected in 2019, aged 41. She won re-election in 2022.

She said after the attack that she was "shaken" and did not take part in the final day of campaigning for the EU election.

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