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Sjödin faces four charges

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10:51 CEST+02:00
Anna Sjödin, the leader of the Social Democrats' youth movement SSU, has been charged with assault following a pub brawl in January.

According to documents lodged at Stockholm District Court, Sjödin faces two charges of assault, one charge of arbitrary conduct, and one charge of slander.

Sjödin is accused of using violence against a bouncer at Stockholm's Crazy Horse bar on 27th January. Prosecutors say she hit the doorman on the head, face and other parts of his body, and dragged his shirt around his throat. also allege that she refused to leave the bar when asked and used violence to resist attempt to eject her.

The arbitrary conduct charge relates to her alleged attempt to take a bouncer's badge from him, and the slander charge is the result of accusations that she used racial insults aganist a doorman. She is said to have called him a ‘svartskalle' (‘black skull'), considered a racist term, and indicated that he was not welcome in Sweden.

A female friend of Sjödin's is also charged with assaulting a waitress and one further charge of assault.

Sjödin has consistently refuted the allegations against her. When she was arrested she filed a number of complaints against others at the bar for crimes including assault. The prosecutors' office decided not to pursue any of her allegations.

Sjödin refused to make any further statements to journalists on Friday. Leaving Social Democrat headquarters on Sveavägen in Stockholm, she would only comment that she respected the legal system before squeezing past journalists into a waiting car.

The SSU chairwoman's lawyer Leif Silbersky said that he would present comprehensive evidence to support his client's version of events.

“Much of the evidence points to the the trial starting only after the election [in September],” he said.

Silbersky said that his client was keeping silent because she wanted to give her version of events directly to the court. He said that evidence for Sjödin's story was at least as strong as the case presented by prosecutors.

“There are those who have made statements against Anna, but there are also several witnesses who have spoken in her favour,” he said.

Göran Persson said the charges against Sjödin were “very sad.”

“But charges are one thing. A trial will follow, and we will have to wait and see what the outcome is.”

The prime minister declared that Sjödin has his full support until then.

At SSU's regular board meeting on Friday, the organisation expressed its confidence in its chairwoman.

“The discussions have been about how Anna is feeling,” said the organisation's secretary Mattias Vespa. He said he was taken as given that Sjödin's account is true, and that it will be backed up by the court.

The fight at the Crazy Horse allegedly started after bouncers judged that the SSU chairwoman was drunk and causing a disturbance. A fight broke out when they asked her to leave. The row ended in Sjödin's arrest, after which she spent a night in a police cell to sober up.

TT/The Local

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