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Denmark makes two arrests over prisoner breakout at hospital

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Denmark makes two arrests over prisoner breakout at hospital
Police in Slagelse after Tuesday's breakout. Photo: Pressefotos.dk/Ritzau Scanpix
11:25 CET+01:00
Police have detained two people who they suspect of having helped a prisoner escape from a psychiatric hospital earlier this week.

The two men, aged 20 and 25, have denied helping to free prisoner Hemin Dilshad Saleh from a psychiatric ward in Slagelse on Tuesday, according to preliminary hearings Thursday at the town’s district court.

Defence lawyer Andro Vrlic representing the 20-year-old said that his client wishes to defend himself in court; the 25-year-old will not comment, his defence lawyer Susan Jørgensen said.

Both men denied charges against them before proceedings continued behind closed doors, thereby keeping the 20-year-old’s statement out of the public domain.

Earlier on Thursday, another man was remanded in custody for four weeks in absentia on the same grounds as the two arrested men. He is probably the same individual as a man arrested on Thursday by police in Hamburg, Germany, Ritzau reports.

The three men are suspected of planning the prisoner’s escape and carrying it out in coordination, according to allegations presented by the prosecution.

They are charged with participating in and assisting in the release of a prisoner, and also face a second charge for aggravated weapons and ammunition possession, and for pointing and threatening hospital staff with the guns.

Further, they are charged unlawful coercion for forcing two female employees to let them and Saleh out of a secure exit to the hospital.

Tuesday’s dramatic escape was made after two guns were smuggled into the hospital in a cake box, resulting in the escape of Saleh, 24.

Saleh is a leading figure in organized crime group NNV, which is connected to Copenhagen's Nørrebro area, according to Ritzau's reporting.

Shots were fired at the floor during the escape operation, and hospital staff were threatened.

Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet has reported that the authorities fear that Saleh may have fled to either Germany or Sweden. Swedish authorities have been asked to tighten border controls.

The names of the three defendants in the case have been suppressed.

READ ALSO: Danish police in fugitive hunt after prisoner escapes from hospital ward

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