Dutch Eurovision star Joost Klein 'likely faces charges' in Sweden

Joost Klein was axed from Eurovision. Picture: Sander Koning / ANP / AFP via Getty ImagesJoost Klein was axed from Eurovision. Picture: Sander Koning / ANP / AFP via Getty Images
Joost Klein was axed from Eurovision. Picture: Sander Koning / ANP / AFP via Getty Images
Joost Klein was expelled from Eurovision Song Contest on the day of the grand final.

A Eurovision star who was dramatically expelled from the competition hours before the grand finale will likely face charges in Sweden, police have said. Joost Klein, who was one of the pre-event favourites, was disqualified from the song contest on the morning of the final.

He was unable to perform at two dress rehearsals on Friday (10 May) 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”.

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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 Swedish 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.

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.

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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.

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