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Swedish prosecutor: 'Movies show men killing'

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A pixellated screen grab from the film shown in court. Image: Säpo /TT
17:08 CET+01:00
The prosecutor in the trial of two Gothenburg men who have been charged with terrorist offences in Syria has asked for life imprisonment for the duo after reviewing video evidence.

The trial of the duo who are accused of beheading two other men, alongside several other terror offences, got underway last week.

In her closing statement on Monday the chief prosecutor in the case, Agnetha Hilding Qvarnström, said that she believes that movies in which two men have their heads cut off, prove that the two accused, a 30- and 32-year-old, were present when the murders were committed and that they belonged to a terrorist organization.

According to the prosecutor, the men's intention was to kill and seriously intimidate others.

She concluded her statement by suggesting that the men should be sentenced to life imprisonment.

The graphic movies played a crucial role during the prosecutor's closing argument in the high-profile terrorist trial at Gothenburg District Court.

Hilding Qvarnström said that the older man held the legs of one of the victims, and that he had given the green light to kill the men on the northern outskirts of Aleppo. The 30-year-old participated in the organisation of the killings, and so was guilty too, she added.

Neither of the suspects has been named in the Swedish media. The two suspects deny the crimes although the 30-year-old admits that he has been to Syria, but only for humanitarian reasons.

Their defence lawyers argued in court that it was not possible to draw any conclusions from the movies, which were found on a USB memory stick at the home of the younger man.

The lawyer for the 32-year-old suspect said that his client should not have been prosecuted because a gunshot wound to the head has left him wheelchair-bound and unable to communicate.

The men were arrested in July in Gothenburg. The 30-year-old has been detained in custody since then, while the older man was forbidden to leave Gothenburg.

In addition, another Gothenburg resident, a 27-year-old man is wanted for complicity in terrorist crimes. He is believed to be in Syria.

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Before the trial began last Thursday, the court's chief judge Ralf Larsson requested tighter security in the courtroom.

"We have two individuals who are supposedly part of Isis who will be on trial. (...) There is naturally a risk and threat scenario," he told regional daily GT.

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