Father and son charged for eatery arson
Published: 16 Jun 2014 12:09 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Jun 2014 12:09 GMT+02:00
Four people, including a father and son, are facing charges for attacking restaurant Grill in Stockholm, which was hit by a Molotov cocktail in March.
The four men are suspected of attempted extortion, attempted arson, and weapon crimes. The youngest suspect is only 17 years old, while the oldest is 37.
"There is one person, the oldest, who can be called the leader in this setup," prosecutor Malin Arentoft told news agency TT. "He will be charged on all three accounts, along with his son."
The 37-year-old is owner of a staffing company which had previously been responsible for cleaning and dish-washing at chef Melker Andersson's restaurants. Andersson claims that the man began blackmailing and threatening him and his business after he broke the contract.
"The sum that has been given was five million kronor ($750,000)," prosecutor Malin Arentoft told news agency TT.
The men reportedly threatened to bomb two of Andersson's restaurants, and tried to throw a Molotov cocktail into the restaurant Grill in March. However, the windows were too thick and the cocktail continued to burn outside the restaurant, where it was discovered by a security guard.
"I'm not free. I'm living in a nightmare," Andersson told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper (DN). He said he has been living at a new, hidden address since the incident. "My whole body is affected, I've become paranoid."
All four men on trial have denied the charges. Evidence against them includes telephone recordings and surveillance films. The 37-year-old held responsible as leader for the attack is reportedly an ex-gang head, known to police from previous incidents. Police found a semi-automatic gun with a silencer and ammunition at the man's residence, DN reported.
Grill is one of eight restaurants in Stockholm run by the star chef, and the attack was the second at the location in less than seven years. In 2007 the restaurant was burned to the ground in what was found to have been an arson attack.