Danish cartoonist says escaped ‘certain death’


AARHUS – A cartoonist who caricatured the Prophet Mohammed told a Danish court Thursday he narrowly escaped “certain death” when an axe-wielding Somali attacker broke into his home last year. “He was chopping so violently with his axe on the bathroom door that it began to vibrate… I thought I was going to die,” Kurt Westergaard, 75, testified on the second day of the trial of his attacker, Mohamed Geele, in a court in Aarhus, central Denmark.
“It would have been certain death if he had managed to break it (the door) down,” he said, categorically rejecting the 29-year-old Somali’s testimony on Wednesday that he had only wanted to “frighten” the cartoonist. On the night of January 1, 2010, Geele had broken into Westergaard’s home in Visby, near Aarhus, screaming, according to the cartoonist’s testimony: “You must die! You are going to Hell!” Westergaard, who was alone at home at the time with the five-year-old daughter of a friend, rushed into a bathroom that had been fortified and transformed into a panic room and called police. When officers arrived, Geele, who is suspected of having links to the Somali Islamist movement Al-Shebab, came out wielding his axe and a knife. He was shot twice and placed under arrest.