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Cartoonist murder plot trial nears end

Dec. 29, 2011 at 11:56 AM
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Three men accused of planning to murder controversial Swedish artist Lars Vilks should be sentenced to prison, prosecutors said in closing arguments.

On Wednesday the Gothenburg District Court lifted the remand order on the suspects, who have been held in custody since September.

An attorney for one of the suspects said the court's decision to release the three suspects, who have been in custody since September, is a sign that they are innocent, although he emphasized a verdict won't be announced until January 20.

"I've claimed the whole time that the evidence was weak," attorney Urban Gilborne told the Swedish news agency TT.

Abdi Aziz Mahamud, a 26-year-old Somali citizen living in Sweden, and Swedish citizens Salar Sami Mahamood, 24, and Abdi Weli Mohamud, 26, are charged with plotting to kill Vilks, who depicted the Prophet Mohammed as a dog in a newspaper cartoon in 2007.

The evidence against the three men consists of recordings of telephone calls between them, prosecutors said.

The three suspects admit they hate Vilks but have denied plotted his murder, TT reported.

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