Haga man “shocked” by arrest

The 33 year old suspected of being the so-called Haga man is said to be shocked over his arrest and the allegations against him.

“He’s taken the accusations very hard,” said his lawyer, Leif Silbersky.

Silbersky was named on Wednesday as the public defence lawyer of the 33 year old and managed to meet him the same evening in jail in Umeå, before returning to Stockholm on Thursday.

“The allegations against my client are extremely serious and he is very aware of that. He denies them and says that he has not been involved in any criminal activity,” said Silbersky.

The lawyer was unable to say much more about the charges his client is facing, or about the DNA test which linked him to a series of violent rapes committed since 1998.

“My client cannot respond to the allegations since we don’t know what has pointed to him. We don’t know where the DNA samples were found. It is unclear to us whether the DNA was found on clothes, a wall or in a car. So for the time being we can’t comment on the strength of the evidence,” said Silbersky.

Silbersky said he understood the attention given to the arrest but criticised certain newspapers which decided to publish the man’s name and picture.

“That goes against all journalistic rules,” he said.

The police continued on Thursday to trawl through the material from the investigation and concentrated primarily on producing a memorandum which will form the basis of the prosecutor’s decision to keep the man in custody.

Prosecutor Annika Öster is likely to formally charge the man on Friday with attempted murder, serious rape and serious assault.

The Haga man has baffled police since August 1998 when he first struck in the Haga area of Umeå.

Between 1998 and 2000 the he was responsible for seven violent rapes on women in the town. All of the attacks happened at night and most targeted single women on their way home from bars in the Haga area.

But after 2000 the attacks stopped – at least until December 10th last year. A 51 year old woman was on her way home from a bar at about 2am when she was raped and beaten. Part of her ear was bitten off and the attacker tried to drown her in a river.

TT/The Local