Four men deny terrorism charges in trial of 2015 Copenhagen attack

Four men suspected of aiding the gunman who carried out a deadly attack on a synagogue in Copenhagen last year denied charges of terrorism at the start of their trial Thursday.

The charges are linked to the second of two attacks on the Danish capital in 2015 in which Omar el-Hussein killed a young Jewish man at Copenhagen's main synagogue on February 15. Two police officers were also injured.

Dan Uzan, who was guarding a Bat Mitzva party at the synagogue, was shot at close range with a handgun, prosecutor Sidsel Klixbull told the Copenhagen District Court, broadcaster TV2 reported.

El-Hussein was later shot dead by police outside his apartment in the city.

The four men on trial have denied charges of being accessories to murder and attempted murder in the attack. They are accused of giving el-Hussein ammunition for handguns, helping him get a hoodie and a bag, and paying a bill at an internet cafe where he conducted a search about the synagogue, prosecutors told the court.

Two of them also allegedly helped dispose of an automatic rifle used by el-Hussein in a shooting the day before, when a Danish filmmaker was killed at a freedom of speech event in Copenhagen.

As part of its case, the prosecution told the court how el-Hussein made computer searches about the freedom of speech event two days before the shooting.

After the first attack, el-Hussein visited an internet cafe where he made more searches. One name he looked up was Mogens Camre, a former member of the European Parliament for the populist Danish People's Party, and outspoken Islam critic.

At the opening of Thursday's trial, the court ruled to lift a ban against naming the four men: Liban Elmi, 20; Ibrahim Abbas, 23; Bhostan Hossein, 25; and Mahmoud Rabea, 31.

Evidence in the trial included security camera footage and phone records that the prosecution said linked the defendants to el-Hussein.

Rabea, 31, admitted to possessing ammunition of the same kind used in the synagogue shooting.

Security was tight at the court, TV2 said.

The suspects face life imprisonment if convicted of terrorism. The trial is expected to last 30 days, with sentencing due in September if they are found guilty.

A fifth suspect was released in January after being detained for almost a year. He was not charged with terrorism.

Last update: Thu, 10/03/2016 - 17:00
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