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Scrapping limits could help Palme police

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12:09 CET+01:00
Rules limiting murder investigations to 25 years will be scrapped under new proposals from Swedish justice minister Thomas Bodström.

The government has launched an enquiry into how limitation periods for a number of violent crimes could be scrapped, but has already made it clear that murder investigations will be able to continue past the current 25-year limit.

The changes could give new hope that the 1986 murder of prime minister Olof Palme will be cleared up. The 20th anniversary of the murder falls next Tuesday, 28th February, and under current rules the investigation would have to be called off in 2011.

Bodström proposes that the new law should be applied retroactively, so that murders that have already gone over their 25-year time limit will be able to be tried.

The proposals are not just about the Palme murder, Bodström insists:

“My starting point is that all murders should be cleared up, but I am not paying special attention to any particular case.”

The proposals will not be made law until some time after the enquiry has reported in January 2007, but they have cross-party support, Dagens Nyheter reports, and are therefore likely to survive any change of government after September's election.

Meanwhile, more information about the Palme murder has emerged in a documentary film to be screened on Sunday.

In SVT 2's I Saw Palme's Murder, Christer Pettersson, who was convicted of Palme's murder but released on appeal, is named as the real killer of the prime minister.

Pettersson's friend Roger Östlund says he was with him on the night of the murder, and saw him fire the bullet that killed Palme. But Östlund, who is now dying in hospital, says that Palme was simply the victim of mistaken identity – the real target was amphetamine dealer Sigge Cedergren, whom they had intended to attack as part of a turf war among drug dealers.

Östlund says he and another man had planned to attack Cedergren together with Pettersson, but did not know that Pettersson had a gun. Friends of Östlund told Expressen that he has not spoken out before because he was afraid of being killed.

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TT/The Local

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