Swede suffocated to death by Norwegian police

Norwegian police have been accused of causing the death by suffocation of a 44-year-old Swede in 2004 before concealing the circumstances of his death. The man died after a hood was placed over his head to prevent him from attacking police officers following his arrest.

On October 4th 2004, police received reports from a hotel in Oslo of a psychotic man under the influence of drugs. Three patrols consisting of a total of seven officers arrived at the scene to arrest the man, who turned out to be a Swedish construction worker.

When he resisted arrest and pepper spray failed to pacify him, police wrestled the man to the ground, handcuffed him and placed shackles on his feet.

Fearing that the 44-year-old might be carrying an contagious disease, the officers covered his face with a hood to prevent him from spitting at them or biting them. Police had found the hood on a jacket in the man’s hotel room.

He was then removed from the hotel and positioned face down on the back seat of a police car.

During the journey to a nearby hospital one of the officers heard the Swede take a deep breath. When he was handed over to the doctor on duty, the 44-year-old was lifeless and blue in the face. One hour later he was declared dead, according to a confidential report obtained by Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen.

“Nobody checked that he was breathing during all of that time. I think the police have displayed indifference towards his life,” Per Gröndal, a lawyer acting on behalf of the victim’s mother, told Aftonbladet.

According to Dagsavisen, details of the arrest were shrouded in mystery until the public prosecutor last year ordered Oslo police to pay a 50,000 kronor fine for having caused the death.

But the Norwegian police union claims that the matter came to light at the time of the man’s death.

“It was known in 2004 that a man had died during a police operation, although not that he had suffocated,” union chairman Arne Johannessen told news agency NTB.


Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden.