• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Bunker plot trial
Swedish doctor on trial for raping woman kept in bunker
A drawing of the suspect (left) and his lawyer in court. Image: Ingela Landström/TT

Swedish doctor on trial for raping woman kept in bunker

TT/AFP/The Local · 25 Jan 2016, 17:52

Published: 25 Jan 2016 07:28 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Jan 2016 17:52 GMT+01:00

Described in the media as "Sweden's Fritzl" – a reference to the Austrian father who held his daughter captive and raped her repeatedly over 24 years – the 38-year-old physician risks life in prison if found guilty of kidnapping and aggravated rape.

Wearing a blue fleece jacket and looking unfazed, he sat as a chilling account of the alleged crimes was presented to the Stockholm court.

His young victim was however visibly shaken, sobbing, and appeared with her hands covered by black gloves and her head hidden under a scarf. Not details about her age or identity have been disclosed.

"She's not well. It's very difficult for her to face him," her lawyer Jens Högström told the court.

The defence argued that the accused, whose name has not been published in Swedish media, was a "broken soul" and a lonely man with few friends.

"He desperately wanted a girlfriend," defence attorney Mari Schaub said, stressing that her client was remorseful.

He has admitted to keeping her against her will, but not to kidnapping or raping her.

"He was suffering from a psychological disorder," Schaub said.

READ ALSO: Sweden's bunker trial – what we know so far

In earlier police interviews with officers the suspect said that "girlfriend might be the best term" for the woman, although he admitted she was "not a girlfriend in the ordinary sense, even I can understand that".

However the woman he locked up told police she feared she could be tortured or killed and her defence team believe that it was the man's plan to keep her locked up for years.

The rest of the trial was heard behind closed doors at the prosecution's request, and it proceeded to outline the defendant's planning and execution of the alleged crimes.


Prosecutor Peter Claeson speaking to media. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

According to the charge sheet, the man passed himself off as an American when he met the woman for the first time on September 10th at her Stockholm apartment, after having made initial contact online.

Two days later, he returned to her place with champagne, strawberries and fruit juice laced with sedatives. Once she was unconscious he is said to have raped her, then rolled her in a wheelchair to his car which had fake licence plates.

Story continues below…

He then drove 550 kilometres from Stockholm to his country home near Kristianstad in southern Sweden.

He is then accused of having locked the woman into what the prosecution described as an above-ground "bunker" he had built in his yard, which resembled a garden shed from the outside. There he took blood and vaginal samples from his victim to make sure she was not carrying any sexually transmitted diseases.

Detectives first became aware of the man's unusual plot in September 2015, after he presented himself at a police station along with the woman, but he was not formally charged until earlier this month.

Meanwhile police have revealed that they are also continuing to investigate the possibility that the man was planning to abduct further victims. 

The doctor is being tried by a judge; juries are not used in Sweden. The trial continues.

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

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Fears new funding rules could hobble Swedish startups
Elin Olsson funded the development of her innovative smoke detector through crowdfunding. Photo: Anders Andersson/TT

Crowdfunding is a risky business, but could Swedish plans to regulate it make it too hard for small companies to get investment?

Ikea recalls chocolate over nut allergy fears
Ikea has recalled several chocolate bars. Photo: Cornelius Poppe/NTB Scanpix/TT

Don't eat these bars if you are allergic to nuts or almonds.

Did this Swedish cop just make the arrest of the year?
Mikaela Kellner in action. Photo: Private

Imagine wrestling a criminal to the ground – while wearing a bikini.

Sweden's champion prawn peeler hauls in a big catch
Prawn peelers in action. Photo: Bengt Johansson

The Olympics are getting closer, but Sweden already has a new champion in an hotly contested "sport": prawn peeling.

Baby dies after midwife denies woman's request for c-section
Uppsala University Hospital. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

The midwife insisted on six attempts at vaginal birth before an emergency caesarean section was carried out.

Don't let them bite! Bedbugs proliferate in Swedish hotels
Swedish bedbug fighter Jonny Ström does his thing in 2014. Library photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The number of bedbugs in Swedish hotels has doubled in recent years, according to figures from pest control firm Anticimex.

Swedish state agencies 'outsource jobs to spies'
The Stockholm headquarters of the Swedish Security Service, Säpo. File photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

Foreign countries are trying to infiltrate the Swedish state by winning government contracts, it has been claimed.

What's on in Sweden
The most stunning Swedish festival spots this week
The Norberg Festival at an old ore mine. Photo: Peo Bengtsson

How about a party on an island, in an old quarry or a former mining camp? That's all on offer in Sweden this week.

Swedish police backtrack on 'gunfight' claims
The scene of the shooting on June 22nd. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Police have retracted a claim that a suspected gunman had fired shots at a patrol unit before officers shot him dead.

Crayfish poachers send Swedes' blood boiling
Has anyone seen this crayfish? Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Oh no, not just before crayfish season!

Sponsored Article
What can newcomers learn about Sweden at Almedalen?
National
Anyone for a bite of 340-year-old shipwrecked stinky cheese?
Gallery
People-watching: July 27th
Politics
Why Sweden's high taxes are not as high as you think
Blog updates

26 July

A summer of change; a summer of beauty (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"You would have had to try hard to miss the political upheavals in the UK after…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
National
What's haggis in a condom doing on Swedish children's TV?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Meet the northern Swede who is the world's best mosquito killer
National
Sweden's Hollywood star Alicia Vikander puts her pen in the bottle
Gallery
People-watching: July 22nd-24th
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
The Local Voices
The Jewish Syrian who dreams of rebuilding his country
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Watch this Swedish weather host leave his fly open... on live TV
The Local Voices
'I fled war in Syria. I never expected to be beaten in Sweden'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
WATCH: Asylum seeker brutally beaten by Swedish bus driver
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
Technology
Why everyone is talking about Sweden's GTA pride parade
National
EU hits truck cartel with record price fixing fine
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Society
OPINION: Why Sweden is the most extreme country in the world
Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of Berlin
The Local Voices
'There is equality in accommodation in Sweden: Everyone is suffering'
Sponsored Article
Why you need a EuroBonus American Express Card
Gallery
Property of the week: Gräsö, Östhammar
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th-17th
National
How to make sure you're not caught out by Sweden's old bank notes
Business & Money
Why Sweden has been named the most innovative country in Europe
National
Terror attack: what should you do?
National
French expat on the moment he was assaulted by a Stockholm bouncer
Technology
Gunman? Nah, smartphone Swede
The Local Voices
'If the war in Syria ended today, would you go back?'
The Local Voices
‘I feel like I’m living in a grave!’
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Princess Victoria celebrates 39th birthday
Gallery
People-watching: July 13th
National
Swedes discover surprise mountain
Politics
What Sweden's home secretary thinks of Britain's new PM
The Local Voices
'Even xenophobic Swedes can be polite’
The Local Voices
'The best time to be smuggled to Europe is August 20th, 2015'
The Local Voices
Swedes: Stop obsessing over your material life and start talking to strangers
3,351
jobs available