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Bunker plot trial
Sweden's gruesome bunker trial: what you need to know
The rubber masks the man used to avoid being recognised. Photo: Polisen/TT

Sweden's gruesome bunker trial: what you need to know

Maddy Savage · 19 Jan 2016, 12:48

Published: 19 Jan 2016 11:00 GMT+01:00
Updated: 19 Jan 2016 12:48 GMT+01:00

1. What exactly is the man accused of?
 
The man has admitted using strawberries laced with Rohypnol in order to drug the woman in Stockholm on September 12th 2015, before driving her 530km to his home in Skåne in southern Sweden and locking her away in the secret bunker.
 
Officers found out about his actions after he turned up at a police station in Stockholm on September 18th, along with the woman. 
 
According to prosecutors, he had gone back to the Swedish capital to collect some of her belongings. But when he discovered that police were looking for the victim and had changed her locks, he decided to come clean, hoping he could persuade them that the woman was unharmed and that they were a genuine couple.
 
However police became suspicious and spoke to the woman separately, who said that she had been kidnapped and the man was arrested. 
 
Prosectors looking into the case believe the suspect had sex with the woman while she was unconscious. Their publically available indictment also suggests he bought two rubber masks in order to avoid being recognised as he travelled with the woman, and used a wheelchair to transport her from his car to his property.
 
The suspect was formally charged with kidnap and rape on January 11th 2016. 
 
Prosecutor Peter Claeson believes the man's original plan was clearly to keep the victim locked up for "a long time".
 
"There is pretty good evidence," he told The Local on Tuesday.
 

Inside the bunker where the woman was trapped. Photo: Polisen/TT. 
 
2. What is the suspect's side of the story?
 
The suspect has admitted drugging the woman and taking her to his home, but denies raping her. He also wanted the kidnapping charge to be reduced to the less serious charge of deprivation of liberty.
 
His lawyer, Mari Schaub, has described him to Swedish media as a lonely "sad and depressed person" who wanted a partner and did not intend to hurt anyone.
 
3. What else do we know about him?
 
It is not standard practice for Swedish media to reveal a suspect's identity, in line with privacy rules, however in some cases criminals are named following their conviction. This is despite police and court documents being accessible to reporters and the wider public.
 
Police have so far said openly that the suspect is 38 and had been living in the Stockholm area. His country home in Skåne is in the village of Knislinge. 
 
It has also been made public that the man is a doctor, since this forms part of the evidence against him. The suspect is accused of taking blood samples from the woman while she was in captivity and checking them the clinic where he worked to make sure she did not have any sexually transmitted diseases. The swabs were allegedly logged as belonging to an unidentified refugee.
 
4. Have any details emerged about the victim?
Story continues below…
 
No. Not even the woman's age has been made public. Like most media in Sweden and internationally, The Local never reveals identifying information about victims of suspected sexual assault.
 
5. What happens now?
 
After being formally charged earlier this month, the man's trial is set to get under way on January 25th, at Stockholm District Court. He will be tried by a judge; juries are not used in Sweden.
 
Meanwhile police have revealed that they are also continuing to investigate the possibility that the man was planning to abduct further victims.
 
"There are indications that there have been other people that were intended to be locked up," prosecutor Peter Claeson told the TT newswire last week.
 

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Maddy Savage (maddy.savage@thelocal.com)

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