STOCKHOLM - A Swedish court released three men charged with plotting to murder an artist whose depictions of the Prophet Mohammad caused Muslim outrage around the world, a lawyer representing the one of the suspects said on Wednesday.
The three will have to return to court on Jan. 20 to hear the verdict of the court. Releasing defendants prior to a verdict is common in Sweden if they are likely to be acquitted.
Lars Vilks has been the subject of several death threats since his drawing depicting Mohammad as a dog was published in 2005. A Pennsylvania woman known as "Jihad Jane" pleaded guilty earlier this year to plotting to kill Vilks.
Ulf Ahlstedt, a lawyer representing one of the suspects, said the three were released from custody less than an hour after the trial ended, a strong indication, he said, that they will be declared not guilty.
"They have realised this isn't enough for a conviction. I see this as a strong denouncement of an indictment," Ahlstedt told Reuters.
The three were suspected of conspiring to murder the Swedish artist in September 2011 in Gothenburg on Sweden's west coast.