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Lindh killer mentally disturbed

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12:54 CEST+02:00
Mijailo Mijailovic, the man convicted of murdering the Swedish foreign minister, Anna Lindh, has been appealing against his conviction. Much of the appeal centred on Mijailovic's mental health, and whether he intended to kill Lindh.

Mijailovic's lawyer, Peter Althin, told the Svea Appeal Court that Mijailovic has said that he didn't want to kill the foreign minister, but that he was driven by voices. To convict someone of murder under Swedish law, the prosecution must prove that the attacker intended to kill the victim. Althin argued that the killing was an act of impulse, and that Mijailovic was so mentally disturbed that he could not understand the consequences of his actions.

Other arguments in the case concerned whether Mijailovic should be held in prison, or whether he should be put in a mental institution. According to DN, one of the advantages for Mijailovic of being put in a mental institution is that he is likely to be freed earlier. Release would be dependent on his mental health, not on how long he had already served.

With the question of whether Mijailovic is mentally ill so important, the evidence of doctors took centre stage at the appeal. Doctor Anders Forsman told the court on Tuesday that both he and Eva Marie Laurén, another doctor who examined Mijailovic, agreed that he was mentally disturbed. "The difference between us is that I consider that he can legally be described as 'seriously disturbed', but Laurén and her colleagues do not agree."

Another key witness at the appeal was Eva Franchell, the friend of Anna Lindh who was with her when she was stabbed in the NK department store in Stockholm. She told the court that she remembered how powerfully the attacker had launched himself on Lindh. DN reported Franchell saying how she had tried to come between the attacker and Lindh, but had not succeeded.

The court will deliver its verdict on July 9th. Mijailovic applied to be released while waiting for the verdict, but the court turned down his request.

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