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Police investigate new 'Palme gun'

Published: 21 Nov 2006 09:59 GMT+01:00
Updated: 21 Nov 2006 09:59 GMT+01:00

Police investigating the 1986 murder of former Prime Minister Olof Palme are following up a new lead. At a press conference held at 11am police were able to confirm that a weapon found yesterday in a lake in Dalarna was the same Smith & Wesson revolver that they have been looking for ever since the day of Palme’s assassination.

“We now have to try to fire to weapon to see if it can be connected to Sveavägen and the murder of Olof Palme,” said prosecutor Agneta Blidberg, Expressen reports.

The newspaper Expressen yesterday handed over a revolver that it believed may have been used in a post office robbery in Mockfjärd in 1983. Police have long suspected that the weapon used in the robbery in the Dalarna region may be linked to the Palme assassination.

According to Expressen, the revolver was found by divers on Monday afternoon in a lake in Dalarna.

At today’s press conference police revealed that the serial number matches that of the Mockfjärd revolver. But the weapon is damaged and it will take two to three weeks before ballistics experts know whether the gun can be fired.

”The critical question is whether we can fire it,” said Sabine Rütten from the National Laboratory of Forrensic Science.

According to one of the robbers the revolver was thrown in a lake near Mockfjärd soon after the robbery. Police have on various occasions searched parts of the lake where the gun was claimed to have been dumped, but never found it.

As late as 2003, the police were tipped off that the gun could be in a different location, but further dives gave no result. Expressen said its divers found the weapon after three hours' searching. The revolver was still in its leather holster.

The ‘Mockfjärd weapon’ is one of two guns long sought after by the Palme investigation group.

A customer was shot in the leg in connection with the 1983 robbery. When police later analysed the bullets used in the Palme assassination they found that it matched the lead isotope composition of the Mockfjärd ammunition.

“This is very interesting,” Stig Edqvist, head of the Palme group, told Expresssen.

TT/Paul O'Mahony (news@thelocal.se)

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