Page last updated at 23:00 GMT, Monday, 15 March 2010

Two charged over cartoonist 'death plot'

Lars Vilks
Lars Vilks has been living under a death threat

Two men have been charged in the Irish Republic in connection with an investigation into an alleged plot to murder a Swedish cartoonist.

They were arrested over alleged threats to kill Lars Vilks over a cartoon which put Prophet Muhammad's head on a dog.

The cartoon was printed as part of a 2007 Swedish newspaper editorial on freedom of expression.

They were refused bail after detectives told the court they were not convinced their identities were authentic.

Ali Charaf Damache, whose address was given as John Collins House, High Street, Waterford, was charged with sending a menacing text message on 9 January.

The 44-year-old, who is originally from Algeria but who has been living in Ireland for about ten years, swore on the Koran before taking the stand at Waterford District Court.

Abdul Salam Monsour Khalil Al-Jahani, 32, of Johnstown, Waterford but originally from Libya, was charged with an immigration offence after allegedly giving a false name.

He is accused of presenting false documentation under the Immigration Act 2004.

A third man who was also being held has been released.

He was one of seven people arrested last week in a series of raids by anti-terrorist units acting on intelligence from the CIA, FBI and European agencies.

Those originally detained included nationals from Algeria, Libya, the Palestinian territories, Croatia and the US.

In 2007, a group linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq offered a $100,000 (£66,000) reward for killing Mr Vilks, and a 50% bonus if he was "slaughtered like a lamb" by having his throat cut.

The Vilks cartoon was published about a year-and-a-half after a series of depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten paper caused protests by Muslims around the world.

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