• Sweden edition
 
Retrial for Södertälje gang murder case

Retrial for Södertälje gang murder case

Published: 05 Oct 2012 11:48 GMT+02:00
Updated: 05 Oct 2012 11:48 GMT+02:00

A retrial has been ordered in a massive gang war trial in Södertälje south of Stockholm after one of the lay judges was found to be biased. The ruling puts 18 convictions, including that of a suspected gang leader, in doubt.

"We've found that one of the judges in the case was biased. According to the rules, the case is to be sent back to the district court. There is to be a retrial," Fredrik Wersäll, president of the Svea Court of Appeal, told the TT news agency on Thursday.

According to a statement issued by the appeals court, one of the district court lay judges was also a representative on the Södertälje police board at the time of the trial and as a result is considered to have been biased.

The initial request for a retrial was filed by the 31-year-old man who was sentenced to life in prison for murder, incitement to murder, kidnapping, aggravated extortion, and a host of other charges.

The guilty verdicts were delivered in August, concluding a trial which had lasted roughly half a year.

Seventeen other people were convicted, considered one of Sweden's largest and most expensive criminal investigations and trials ever, costing around 200 million kronor ($30 million), according to estimates by Sveriges Radio (SR).

The 31-year-old had been convicted for ordering three murders, something he was able to do, according to prosecutors, because he was the leader of a criminal syndicate known as the "Södertälje Network".

However, the 31-year-old has continually claimed that the "Network" doesn't exist and that he has never been a gang leader.

He, along with everyone else convicted in the case, as well as prosecutors, had appealed the district court ruling.

But instead of ruling on the case, the appeals court has instead ordered a retrial.

"One of the judges, a lay judge, was at first a substitute and then a full representative on the police board in Södertälje when the trial was ongoing. The question is whether the efforts of the Södertälje police were discussed at basically every meeting. For an outsider, it must seem that it would be hard to be a board member and not be involved in the police's assessments," said Wersäll.

Gunnar Appelgren, who led the police investigation in Södertälje, was shocked by the news that a retrial had been ordered.

"I'm very surprised. That's going to mean a lot of work for a lot of people," he told the TT news agency.

In his eyes, the existence of the "Södertälje Network" is commonly accepted knowledge.

"The Swedish people have received the same information via the media, that we in the police believe there is a network. You can't find anyone that doesn't think that way," said Appelgren.

The defence attorney for the convicted 31-year-old welcomed the news.

"It's incredibly good news," Fredrik Ungerfält told TT, explaining that the lay judge apparently failed to properly carry out his responsibility to ensure he was "impartial and independent".

Wersäll of the appeals court said it was a hard decision for the three judges who ruled on the retrial request.

"It's going to mean a lot of discomfort for everyone involved, both the victims, witnesses, and the accused," he said.

The case stems from the December 2009 killing of the leader of the rival X-team criminal gang in at the gambling club Oasen in Södertälje.

The slaying was the catalyst for a several years of bloody conflict between the gangs which police inspector Thomas Nordström characterized as a battle for control of the drugs trade in the area.

In the spring of 2010, a car was fired upon in Södertälje, and the 31-year-old is believed to have been the target.

According to police, the "Network" gang took exacted revenge by having young Assyriska FF footballer Eddie Moussa and his brother gunned down by assailants wielding automatic weapons at the Oasen club later that year.

TT/The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden
Michael Boatwright (R) and Medieval knight re-enactors.

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden

The "motel mystery" American who baffled US authorities by only speaking Swedish when he woke up from a coma last year has passed away, Swedish media reported on Wednesday. READ () »

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king

UPDATED: Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits. READ () »

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop
TeliaSonera CEO Johan Dennelind. File photo: TT

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop

Stockholm-listed telecom operator TeliaSonera on Wednesday said profits had fallen in the first quarter, but hoped offering customers more data solutions in the future would turn things around. READ () »

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'
Fredrik Reinfeldt. File photo: TT

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Wednesday urged young voters to head to the European parliamentary polls on May 25th "to cure the European disease of nationalism". READ () »

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg at the first quarter press conference. Photo: TT

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson on Wednesday announced a drop in sales but posted a sharp rise in first-quarter profit, which nonetheless fell shy of analyst predictions. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping brawl
Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals

Swedish police fear that several people involved in a brawl in eastern Sweden on Monday night may be seeking revenge after two brothers were shot dead. READ () »

Sponsored Article
Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden
The town of Västervik.

Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden

Ask a Swede, and they are likely to say that their favourite holiday spot is in the southeast of Sweden. Eastern Småland and Öland offer a smörgåsbord of all the things dearest to the Swedes - from the beloved children's book author Astrid Lindgren to deep forests, long sandy beaches, perfect spots for that all-important 'fika', and a surprising amount of space, peace and quiet. READ () »

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth
Swedes enjoy hot dogs and cherry blossoms in Stockholm's Kungsträdgården. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth

The sun is set to stick around and temperatures could climb into the twenties over the weekend, Swedish meteorologists said on Wednesday READ () »

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

A 21-year-old man confessed on Wednesday to sex crimes against eight children at a day care where he was working as an intern. READ () »

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles
An unrelated bodybuilder. File photo: Ann Törnkvist

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles

Police in Sweden's south who hauled a muscular man in for steroid testing have had their knuckles rapped, after it was ruled that big biceps cannot be grounds for narcotics suspicions. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Advertisement:
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

719
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com