Man accused of assaulting Danish prime minister to appear in pre-trial custody hearing

Man accused of assaulting Danish prime minister to appear in pre-trial custody hearing

IC Desk: Authorities announced that a man who allegedly assaulted the prime minister of Denmark in central Copenhagen will appear on Saturday in a pre-trial custody hearing.

On Friday, police verified that "there has been an incident" involving Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and that a 39-year-old male had been taken into custody. It was unclear if Frederiksen was wounded, and they did not offer any other information.

At the Copenhagen District Court in Frederiksberg, a municipality enclave inside the Danish city, the man is anticipated to arrive at 1100 GMT.

On Friday, the Danish national broadcaster DR was informed by the prime minister's office that Frederiksen was "shocked" by the events that transpired.

According to Anna Ravn and Marie Adrian, two eyewitnesses, a guy was seen approaching Frederiksen before "pushing her hard on the shoulder so she was shoved aside." They emphasized that the prime minister did not stumble.

Kasper Jørgensen, another witness, told the tabloid Ekstra Bladet that the suspected attacker was taken out by a police officer and a well-dressed man who appeared to be a member of Frederiksen's protection team.

Working at a neighborhood pub on Kultorvet Square where the incident occurred, Søren Kjaergaard told the BT that he spotted Frederiksen shortly after the incident; she had no evident facial injuries and had swiftly left.

Politicians both domestically and internationally denounced the alleged attack.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said that “an attack on a democratically elected leader is also an attack on our democracy,” while Charles Michel, president of the European Council, condemned on X what he called a “cowardly act of aggression.”

European Union parliamentary elections are currently underway in Denmark and the rest of the 27-nation bloc and will conclude on Sunday.

Frederiksen has been campaigning with the Social Democrats’ EU lead candidate, Christel Schaldemose. Media reports said the attack was not linked to a campaign event.

Violence against politicians has become a theme in the run-up to the EU elections. In May, a candidate from Germany’s center-left Social Democrats was beaten and seriously injured while campaigning for a seat in the European Parliament.

In Slovakia, the election campaign was overshadowed by an attempt to assassinate populist Prime Minister Robert Fico on May 15, sending shockwaves through the nation of 5.4 million and reverberating throughout Europe.

Frederiksen, 46, is the leader of the Social Democratic Party and has been Denmark’s prime minister since 2019.

She has steered Denmark through the global COVID-19 pandemic and a controversial 2020 decision to wipe out Denmark’s entire captive mink population to minimize the risk of the small mammals retransmitting the virus.

Assaults on politicians in Denmark are rare.

On March 23, 2003, two activists threw red paint on then-Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen inside the parliament and were immediately arrested. Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller also suffered some splashes that day.


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