Olle Liljegren, 35, was said by his lawyer to be “overjoyed” by the decision, despite the fact that there are still outstanding charges against him.
“The Appeal Court has decided that the inspector is still with reasonable cause suspected of certain crimes, but there is no reason for him to be kept in custody,” said Robert Schött, one of the court’s judges.
Liljegren has been in prison for eleven months, including seven months on remand before the trial at Eskilstuna district court. There, he was found guilty of a string of offences, including serious breach of duty, being an accomplice in serious narcotics crimes and serious weapons offences.
According to Dagens Nyheter, the chief prosecutor Katarina Johansson Welin argued that Liljegren gave a submachine gun back to a robber and that he had sold pistols to other criminals. He was also alleged to have knowingly allowed two consignments of cocaine into Sweden.
But the Appeal Court said that there was a lack of evidence for the guilty verdict on the drugs charges – and most of the weapons charges – to stand. However, Swedish Radio noted that he is still suspected of serious weapons offences.
He is accused of keeping illegal weapons in his office and taking an acquaintance for “improvised shooting practice”. The full judgement is expected on March 15th.
In the original trial, an informer who was allegedly allowed by Liljegren to smuggle cocaine from Holland into Sweden was sentenced to three years in prison. He is still there, and his lawyer, Nils Uggla, told Swedish Radio that this case would make it harder for police to use informers.
“If other informers and infiltrators find out how police have treated my client, I believe that they’re going to find it very difficult to get this kind of assistance in future,” he said.
“That will naturally impede the fight against crime.”
Meanwhile, Liljegren’s lawyer, Per Liljekvist, questioned the prosecution’s objectivity in the case and told DN that he wants an investigation.
“We are going to propose that the justice ombudsman goes through all the decisions from the prosecutors and what directives they got from above,” he said.
While the police inspector is now free, he is facing an internal investigation into allegations that he set a trap for a person in the Dalarna police force, who was suspected of leaking information to criminals. But Per Liljekvist brushed off the matter on his client’s behalf, saying that nothing would come of that either.
“His honour is restored,” he told Aftonbladet.