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Anna Sjödin goes on trial

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10:09 CEST+02:00
Today sees the trial that may decide the political future of Anna Sjödin, chairwoman of the Social Democrats' youth movement SSU. Sjödin stands accused of violent resistance, assault, theft and slander.

After a two-day trial the district court will reach its verdict on the events surrounding the SSU chairwoman's ejection from the Crazy Horse pub in central Stockholm in January.

It is the slander charge that could prove most damaging if the court rules in the prosecutor's favour. A bouncer at the pub claims that Sjödin called him a 'jävla svartskalle', which literally means 'bloody black skull' and is considered a racist term. According to the bouncer, Sjödin then went on to say, "it is immigrants like you that we could do without in this country".

Anna Sjödin has denied all charges, and has stressed that she did not use the word 'svartskalle'. According to her version of events, she and her friend were prohibited from purchasing alcoholic beverages at the bar. Shortly after that, her friend was dragged out by one of the bouncers. Sjödin was led away by other bouncers, whom she claims used excessive force and swore at her.

The employees' version is quite different. They maintain that a bouncer tried to tell the women that they had drunk too much and would have to leave the pub. Both women then began hitting the bouncer. A waitress claims that Sjödins friend struck her at one point.

Three police units called to the scene support the staffs' claim that the women were heavily under the influence. Police officers witnessed violent behaviour from both women. Sjödin's friend is charged with assault and violent resistance. The prosecution will call on ten witnesses over the course of the trial, while six defence witnesses will take to the stand.

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