COPENHAGEN, Denmark – A Danish court on Wednesday convicted a 24-year-old pizzeria owner of joining Islamic State militants in Syria, dismissing his claims that he had gone there to work as a cook.
The Copenhagen suburban Glostrup City Court found Hamza Cakan, who has dual Danish and Turkish citizenships, guilty of enrolling in the radical Islamist group, the first such ruling in the Scandinavian country.
Cakan, who ran a pizzeria in Copenhagen, has acknowledged traveling twice to Syria in 2013 but said he didn't go there to fight. However, he admitted to filling in a form saying he had joined IS to become a fighter. He was arrested last year after attempting to head for Syria again.
Cakan, formerly known as Enes Ciftci, appeared in the IS registry as "Abu Aya Dinimarki." The document was used in the court case against him.
He told the jury of three judges and five jurors that a photo he had posted on social media of him posing with an AK-47 was to "show off" and had been taken in Syria, according to court documents.
Sentencing is expected Friday. He faces a maximum seven years in prison although prosecutors have demanded a six-year sentence and that he be stripped of Danish citizenship.