Phillip Mbuji Johansen Wiki
Phillip Mbuji Johansen Biography
A Danish court on Tuesday sentenced two brothers to 14 years in prison each for the murder of a black man on a Danish island in June, sparking a debate over racism.
But the prosecution said there was insufficient evidence of a racist motive in the murder, which the court saw as a personal relationship gone wrong. Witnesses and defense lawyers ruled out racism and the defendants denied it.
The body of Phillip Mbuji Johansen, who had Danish and Tanzanian roots, was found in a forest on the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea on June 23. He had spent the night drinking beer and vodka there with Mads and Magnus Moeller, 23 and 26 years old. .
The brothers allegedly assaulted Johansen, stabbed him with a knife, and beat him with a wooden stick and a bottle. They tortured him for at least 20 minutes, according to a coroner who testified in court, and left Johansen defenseless in the woods.
During the assault, one of the brothers pressed a knee against the victim’s neck. This and the fact that he was biracial sparked speculation that the murder may have been racially motivated, as it resembled the May 25 murder of a black man, George Floyd, by police in Minneapolis, sparking protests across the world.
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The Danish chapter of SOS-Racism, an international association, had said that a racist motive could not be ruled out, and the Danish chapter of Black Lives Matter had described the case as a ‘racial murder’.
The defendants admitted to the three judges and six jurors to having assaulted the 28-year-old, but denied having intended to kill him. They claimed that they assaulted him because he had allegedly raped his mother. The rape had never been reported to the police.
The killers’ defence team successfully argued that the murder of Mr Mbuji Johansen was not related to his ethnicity
Chief Prosecutor Benthe Pedersen Lund said she was satisfied with the sentence for the “gruesome murder”. Before the start of the trial, she had repeatedly said that there were insufficient grounds to charge the brothers under Denmark’s hate crime law.
Both defense attorneys said they would appeal the verdict and sentence.
The trial took place in Roenne, the main town on Bornholm, in southern Sweden.
Phillip Mbuji Johansen Quicks And Facts
- Phillip Mbuji Johansen was killed in a forest on the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm
- He had been drinking beer and vodka with brother Mads and Magnus Moeller
- The pair stabbed, beat and tortured their victim for at least 20 minutes
- The brothers were jailed for 14 years after the court said it was not a racial attack