[JURIST] A Danish court on Monday began the trial of two men accused of planning a bomb attack on the country. The pair admitted to manufacturing an explosive compound, but have denied that they were planning an attack or that they intended to use it to make a bomb. A representative of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) [official website] has said the unnamed men, one from Pakistan and the other from Afghanistan, are also suspected of having ties to al Qaeda [JURIST news archive]. Prosecutors in the case are heavily relying on covert surveillance evidence collected by PET and foreign intelligence agencies, including chat logs discussing the June bombing of the Danish embassy [press release] in Pakistan. The men could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted, and a verdict in the trial is expected in October. AP has more. The Copenhagen Post has local coverage.
Covert and electronic surveillance [JURIST news archive] methods such as those used by prosecutors in the case have recently become more widespread and have been criticized by privacy groups. In 2006, a Danish court ordered the continued detention of two men charged [JURIST report] in connection with an alleged terror plot set to take place in Denmark, but also ordered the release of five others who had been charged. The country was the focus of a worldwide controversy over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive] published by a Danish newspaper in 2005, which in early 2006 prompted other attacks on Danish embassies abroad.