Bouncer: drunk Sjödin hit me

The start of the assault trial that will decide the career of Anna Sjödin, head of Social Democrat youth movement SSU, saw her version of events flatly contradicted by the bouncer she is accused of assaulting.

Bouncer Babak Jamei accuses Sjödin of violently resisting her ejection from the Crazy Horse pub in central Stockholm in January. He also accuses her of using racially abusive language. Sjödin denies the charges against her, and claims she was subjected to excessive force.

Jamei was questioned for over an hour during the morning, and have the court a detailed account of his version of events. He was called into the bar by a bartender who thought that Sjödin and her friend were too drunk to be served and were causing a disturbance.

He said that when the pair did not obey his order to leave the bar, he took Sjödin by the arm:

“She then looked me in the eye and said ‘jävla svartskalle'”. The term means ‘bloody black skull’, and is considered racist.

“She then said: ‘it’s immigrants like you that we don’t want in this country,” Jamei told the court.

The bouncer said he then tried to drag Sjödin’s friend from the bar, and was hit on the back of the head. When he turned, Sjödin hit him in the face. He also said that Sjödin hit him several times during the brawl that followed.

While Jamei admitted that he had used his baton to hit Sjödin’s arm, he said that she had only done this because she was holding on to his sweater. He denied using the baton to hit her on the face.

Jamei was backed up by two staff members from the Crazy Horse, both of whom said they had heard Sjödin calling their colleague a ‘svartskalle’. One of the staff members, a waitress, was pressed by Sjödin’s lawyer, Leif Silbersky. He asked whether she really heard Sjödin use the phrase:

“I’m absolutely sure, thank you,” she replied.

When Sjödin took the stand later in the day, she strongly denied hitting anyone. She said the bouncer had used foul language and had called here a “bloody whore” and “white trash”. He also threatened several times to beat her to death, she said.

Sjödin’s accounted painted herself as the victim and the bouncer as the attacker, telling how he hit her on the head and body with his baton.

“I felt that I was not being treated like a human being,” she said, describing how she cried and hyperventilated in a police car after being thrown out the bar. She denied calling Jamei a ‘svartskalle’, saying the allegation was made up by the bouncer and bar staff after the event. She admitted that during the row she had called a member of staff a ‘bloody idiot.’

Interest in the trial was significant, with most seats in the courtroom at Stockholm district court taken. The trial’s start was delayed by the failure of one of the alleged victims, a waitress at the Crazy Horse, to turn up.

Sixteen witnesses are expected to be questioned during the case, which is likely to end on Thursday.