Dutch artist expelled from Eurovision likely to face charges, say Swedish police

13 May 2024, 15:24

Joost Klein of the Netherlands at the dress rehearsal for the final at the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden
Sweden Eurovision Song Contest. Picture: PA

The Netherlands’ Joost Klein was dramatically expelled from the competition hours before the grand finale.

The Netherlands’ contestant in the Eurovision Song Contest, who was dramatically expelled from the competition hours before the grand finale, is likely to be charged with making illegal threats, Swedish police said.

Joost Klein had failed to perform at two dress rehearsals on Friday and the organiser, the European Broadcasting Union, said that police were investigating a complaint by “a female member of the production crew” at the competition in the Swedish city of Malmo.

Police spokesman Jimmy Modin told The Associated Press their investigation into the incident was over and that a decision on the charges should come “within a few weeks”.

Joost Klein, representing the Netherlands, during a press conference after the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest at the Malmo Arena in Sweden
Joost Klein, representing the Netherlands, during a press conference after the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest at the Malmo Arena in Sweden (Jessica Gow/TT News Agency via AP)

He did not elaborate on the nature of the alleged threats that the Dutch performer is accused of making.

The contest in Malmo followed a turbulent year for the pan-continental pop contest that saw large street protests against the participation of Israel which tipped the feelgood musical celebration into a chaotic pressure cooker overshadowed by the war in Gaza.

Details of what happened backstage are unknown.

The tabloid Aftonbladet said, citing an unnamed source, that Klein at one point became stressed by all the photographers and asked them to stop filming.

The Sydsvenska daily, a Malmo newspaper, said that the crime of making threats usually leads to fines upon conviction.

“We expect there will probably be a prosecution,” Emil Andersson, the police officer in charge of the case, told Swedish broadcaster SVT.

Joost Klein
Joost Klein was representing the Netherlands (Jessica Gow/TT News Agency via AP)

He also said that a legal process of “accelerated prosecution” was likely to be involved as the alleged altercation did not involve a more serious crime.

The average time for an investigation in cases of accelerated prosecution is six to eight weeks.

The last-minute disqualification was unprecedented in the 68-year history of Eurovision.

The 26-year-old Dutch singer and rapper had been a bookies’ favourite, as well as a fan favourite, with his song Europapa, an upbeat Euro-techno ode to the continent’s diversity that is also a tribute to Klein’s parents, who died when he was a child.

Klein has reportedly already left Sweden.

The 68th edition of the contest was won by Switzerland’s Nemo.

By Press Association

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