Four tied to Sweden on trial

Secret courts in Danish terror case with Swedes

Four men with connections to Sweden who are suspected of planning a terrorist attack appeared in court in Denmark on Friday. But the men have been denied information about the judges and courts that have been involved in making important decisions concerning their case.

A number of lawyers have criticized the system being used, saying it threatens the judicial system itself.

"I object to the fact that I can't look at this material," Kåre Traberg Smidt, one of the Swedes' lawyers, told news agency TT.

The suspects, three Swedish and one Tunisian citizen, were arrested in 2010 after a joint surveillance operation between Sweden and Denmark. The target of the attack was allegedly the headquarters of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which published caricatures of the prophet Mohammed in 2005.

The newspaper Jyllands-Posten is now reporting that the Danish judicial system has appointed secret judges and courts for the terror case. Wiretapping of conversations is thought to be the most important evidence authorities have. But information about which courts and judges gave Danish authorities the go-ahead to run the wiretap has been classified.

Traberg Smidt says the classified material is hampering his efforts to defend his client. "I don't even know which court approved the wiretap," he says.

Traberg Smidt says he has only been working on the case for three weeks and has not been able to determine more. But he says on Tuesday he will try to contact the court the Swedes will appear in. "I have to ask the judge if this secrecy is allowed," he says.