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CRIME

Men guilty of abusing corpse – but not murder

Sweden's Appeal Court has upheld the verdict that a man found buried in a Malmö cellar with his head chopped off in January 'had been exposed to violence before his death'.

But it has still not been possible to determine who committed the act, said the court. The two men who were prosecuted for the murder have only been found guilty of the macabre treatment of the body afterwards.

Both men, one aged 47 and the other aged 46, were sentenced on Wednesday to one and a half years in prison for committing offences against a dead body.

The verdict was as expected, reckoned lawyer Mikael Nilsson, who defended the older man. He said he was surprised that the prosecutor had even pursued the case as far as the Appeal Court.

“The cause of death could not be established, so nobody could be found guilty of murder. The prosecutor has to prove when, where and how it happened, and who did it. If you can’t answer those questions then you can’t find someone guilty of murder,” said Nilsson to TT.

The pathologist who examined the body said in court that it could not be ruled out that the man had died of an overdose. The body had multiple injuries, including some which could be described as typical ‘defence injuries’.

These, along with what happened to the body afterwards, suggested that the man had been subjected to violence in connection with his death, said the court. But if the intention had been to kill the man was still unclear.

The men’s treatment of the corpse was described by the court has “a serious abuse of the respect that ought to be shown to a dead body”.

The corpse was first stuffed in a sleeping bag, which was in the house of the Videdal part of Malmö where he died, said one of the men afterwards. Then it was buried in the cellar.

After pouring hydrochloric acid over the body the men hacked off the head with a spade, since the hole in the cellar floor was too small. The head was placed in a rucksack and dumped in the Öresund.

The macabre events took place in April 2005. Police found the body nine months later after a tip-off. Some time later the head was found in the water outside Limhamn, where one of the men later admitted that it had been thrown.

The dead man was a drug addict with a criminal history – as are the two men who have now been sentenced for the treatment of his body.

HEALTH

Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime 

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