Man Jailed, Charged After Attack on Denmark’s Prime Minister

(Bloomberg) -- A 39-year-old man has been jailed and charged with violence against an official after an attack on Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen that led her to cancel several election events.

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The man allegedly hit the Danish premier with a clenched fist on her right upper arm in a central Copenhagen square on Friday, Ritzau reported, citing a court hearing. He will be jailed until June 20, the news wire said.

The premier is suffering from “a minor whiplash” and received a check-up at a hospital, her office said in a statement on Saturday. Frederiksen, 46, is otherwise unharmed but is “shaken” by the incident.

The man appeared in court around 1 p.m. local time Saturday after being arrested Friday evening immediately after the assault took place. The accused — a Polish national who had a translator by his side — pleaded not guilty to the charge, Ritzau said.

The attack in Copenhagen comes less than four weeks after Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot in an assassination attempt. Fico survived the assault and is currently recovering before returning to work later in June or in July.

There appears to be no political motive to the attack on the Danish prime minister, Ritzau cited the accused’s lawyer as saying in court.

Danish politicians, along with Frederiksen, are currently campaigning ahead of the European Parliament elections this weekend and the prime minister has been appearing with candidates from her Social Democrats party. She was due to attend events in five cities on Saturday, but they have all been canceled due to the incident, her office said.

According to local media reports, the attack occurred as the prime minister was meeting a person at a cafe in Copenhagen’s shopping district. The prime minister was confronted by the man as she was walking with her security guards a few meters behind her, local media cited eyewitnesses as saying.

Denmark is the safest country in the world after Iceland, according to the Global Peace Index, and the Nordic nation has had almost no recent history of political violence.

President of the European Council Charles Michel was among global leaders who criticized the attack on Frederiksen, saying in a post on X that “I strongly condemn this cowardly act of aggression.”

--With assistance from Christian Wienberg.

(Updates with details from court hearing)

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