War criminals face tougher investigations

Sweden is to step up the fight against suspected war criminals hiding in the country, with a special war crimes unit likely to be set up at the National Criminal Investigation Department.

Around 1,000 suspected war criminals live in Sweden, with more expected to arrive together with current waves of immigrants, according to Svenska Dagbladet.

Pim Martinsson, head of the Human Rights and War Crimes Commission at the National Criminal Investigation Department said that there were currently 30 to 40 investigations underway into war crimes, but the investigations rarely led to prosecutions.

The proposed new group would contain investigators, prosecutors and political scientists, and would maintain close contact with the Swedish Migration Board.

“Everything is too split at present,” said international prosecutor Magnus Elling to Svenska Dagbladet.

“An investigator never learns from his mistakes if he only gets to carry out an investigation every ten years. There needs to be continuity,” he said.

Sweden is home to large groups of refugees from a number of war zones, including Iraq and Afghanistan. The country previously received large numbers from the former Yugoslavia.