Swedish police says Dutch Eurovision contestant probed for ‘intimidation’ offense

Joost Klein, who represents the Netherlands takes the stage during the dress-rehearsal on the eve of the final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2024 on May 10, 2024 at the Malmo Arena, Sweden. (Tobias Schwarz/AFP)
Joost Klein, who represents the Netherlands takes the stage during the dress-rehearsal on the eve of the final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2024 on May 10, 2024 at the Malmo Arena, Sweden. (Tobias Schwarz/AFP)

MALMO, Sweden (AFP) — Swedish police say they launched a probe into alleged intimidation at Eurovision after the Dutch contestant was mysteriously pulled from rehearsals on the eve of the final.

European Broadcasting Union organizers announced that Dutch competitor Joost Klein had been prevented from rehearsing Friday over an unspecified “incident.”

“The police is investigating intimidation. The offense was committed in the Malmo arena on Thursday evening,” police spokesman Pelle Vamstad tells AFP.

“The suspect, a man, was heard. He is not in detention,” Vamstad adds.

The person who lodged a complaint is involved in Eurovision, police say.

Dutch broadcaster SVT suggests the incident involving Klein had been a confrontation with a photographer.

Dutch broadcasting association AVROTROS says an investigation was continuing and that it was in “constant talks” with the EBU.

During rehearsals, Klein had paraded with other participants ahead of the performances but did not go on stage when it was his turn.

His song “Europapa” is dedicated to his parents, who died when he was young.

At the end of Thursday’s semifinal, the 26-year-old had appeared to object to being placed beside Israeli contestant Eden Golan, at several points covering his face with a Dutch flag.

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