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Top lawyer freed

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18:17 CET+01:00
Senior Stockholm defence lawyer Thomas Martinson has been found not guilty of laundering 1.5 million crowns stolen in a raid on a security van in 1995.

He was accused of helping Tommy Zethraeus - currently serving a life sentence for the so-called Stureplan murder in December 1994 - place the money in a bank in Luxembourg. The prosecutor said Martinson - who defended Zethraeus at his trial in 1995 - took 400,000 crowns for helping to launder the money.

But the court found that the prosecutor was "unable to support the allegations". According to Expressen, the court said that it was unproven that the money which was placed abroad came from the robbery, and therefore there was no basis for the charges against Martinson. Zethraeus and his former girlfriend were also found not guilty.

Around 30 million crowns was stolen from the van in Arninge, in Täby, in July 1995, making it one of Sweden's biggest-ever heists. While the crime has still not been solved, chief prosecutor Stefan Bergman believed that Zethraeus - who was in jail at the time - masterminded it and received 1.5 million crowns of the proceeds.

The main evidence against Martinson was recorded telephone calls between Zethraeus and other known criminals, in which the lawyer was mentioned on a number of occasions.

Svenska Dagbladet reported that Martinson's own lawyer, Johan Eriksson, was satisfied with the outcome.

"I am sincerely happy for Martinson's sake and also a little bit for my own sake," he told SvD. "This has been a tough case which has been going on for a long while and it's been hard for Thomas."

While Stefan Bergman had called for Martinson to be jailed for two years, Eriksson said that the case should never have come to court.

"It was wrong to prosecute Thomas Martinson," he said. "There wasn't enough evidence."

For Thomas Martinson himself, it was business as usual. When the judgement was handed down at 11am on Wednesday he was sitting in another case in the same court building.

Sources: Svenska Dagbladet, Expressen, Aftonbladet

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