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Policeman to face trial over shooting

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20:58 CEST+02:00
A policeman who in March of this year shot dead a 22 year old man in Lindesberg was charged with serious assault and manslaughter at Örebro district court on Tuesday.

He denies the charges and says that he was afraid of being attacked by the man and shot in self defence.

However, the prosecutor, Per Lind, maintains that the policeman was never in danger.

On the morning of 20th March the 34 year old policeman was sent to a property outside Lindesberg where the young man had been acting in a threatening way towards his parents.

He had already hit his father and the parents were so afraid of their son that they had fled their home and called the police from a nearby petrol station.

When police arrived at the house they were met on the steps by the 22 year old, who had armed himself with knives and was shouting abuse and threatening them.

The police remained a few metres away behind a fence, but when the man began to move towards them, the policeman fired a shot.

According to the prosecutor the shot was aimed at the man's leg. But the bullet hit a gate, ricocheted and hit him in the stomach instead. The man died almost immediately.

A technical investigation of the scene revealed that the gate separating the man from the police officers could only be opened inwards, towards the house.

"It was not necessary to shoot in this situation," said prosecutor Per Lind to TT.

But the policeman's lawyer, Christer Jonsson, said that he will reject the allegations in the trial.

"My client was, in the highest degree, attacked. He was threatened and had the legal right to shoot," said Jonsson.

The incident reawakened the question of whether Sweden's police should be armed, but the police union was quick to state that officers across the country want to continue carrying weapons.

The trial is expected to be held at the beginning of next year.

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