“Suicidal” Mijailovic gives up Swedish passport

Mijailo Mijailovic, the man convicted of killing Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh last year, has renounced his Swedish citizenship. The news broke just hours after he was admitted to hospital in Stockholm due to fears that he was suicidal.

He was taken to a psychiatric clinic at Huddinge hospital after he broke down on Saturday, and a doctor at Kronobergs prison said that he could be a danger to himself. DN reported on Saturday that prison officers and four members of the local police were guarding the convicted murderer.

The prison governor, Åke Pettersson, told DN that the fact that he had been taken to hospital indicated that the situation was serious. “Admission to hospital in a situation like this is a sign that the necessary medical care is beyond the prison’s capabilities,” he said.

Mjailovic’s lawyer, Peter Althin, criticised his client’s treatment, saying that despite being sentenced to psychiatric care, Mijailovic has continued been held in a normal prison while prosecutors contest the sentence. “He was sentenced to psychiatric care by the court, but he hasn’t got the care he needed because of the prosecutors,” he said.

Prosecutors said that there was no reason why their appeal to keep him in prison should be affected by his ill health. Chief prosecutor Agneta Blidberg told DN that the date for the hearing had not even been set yet.

There was no immediate sign of a link between Mijailovic’s health problems and his decision to renounce his Swedish citizenship. DN reported that he has decided to retain only his Serbian passport. The killer was born in Sweden, but was already a citizen of Serbia and Montenegro, his parents having moved here in the 1970s from the country then known as Yugoslavia.

The reasons behind his decision remain shrouded in mystery. According to DN, Peter Althin was giving nothing away on the subject, although he did say that he did not believe that the decision would have any bearing on the proceedings due to start soon in the Supreme Court. However, DN reported rumours that Mijailovic had been wondering whether he could serve his sentence in Serbia and Montenegro, as he was concerned that everyone in Swedish prisons knows who he is.

Thursday’s DN reported that Swedish authorities could approve a move to Serbia. The paper quoted the prison service’s Stefan Englund, who said: “the ball is now in [Mijailovic’s] court.”

Other reports this week suggested the country could gain another notorious killer. Aftonbladet reported that Saddam Hussein intends to make a plea for a pardon from the court currently trying him in Iraq. “We argue that he should be released and allowed to live in exile, in Sweden for example,” his lawyer Giovanni di Stefano told the paper.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Aftonbladet