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CRIME

Men cleared over Gothenburg airport heist

Three of the men charged in connection with last year's major robbery at Landvetter Airport have been cleared by the Court of Appeal. All three had previously been sentenced by the District Court to seven years in prison.

Men cleared over Gothenburg airport heist
Photo: SAS

Three other men who received seven year jail terms had their sentences upheld by the appeals court.

The robbery took place on March 7th last year, when a four-wheel drive car containing a driver and three armed men forced its way through a security gate at the airport.

The men drove up to an SAS plane and threatened the flight crew with automatic weapons before gaining entry to the plane’s hold.

They left the scene with 7.8 million kronor in foreign currency, none of which has yet been recovered.

After the robbery the men left a suspected bomb device by the plane, which led to the closure of Landvetter airport for nine hours.

A total of eight people were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the raid.

One was cleared by the District Court, while another was sentenced to two months in jail.

The other six were each awarded seven year sentences for robbery and sabotage. All six denied the charges.

Anders Lindblad, a lawyer representing one of the men who has now been cleared, was extremely critical of his client’s treatment.

“I view the District Court’s verdict as a legal scandal. One has to have evidence in a case like this,” he said.

“My client has been kept in custody for thirteen months and had to see a doctor for psychological problems when he was let go by the Court of Appeal,” said Lindstrand.

The lawyer added that his client is likely to demand 500,000 kronor ($70,000) in compensation.

POLITICS

Swedish party leader calls for chemical castration of sex offenders

Sweden's Christian Democrats have called for tougher sentences for sex offenders and making release conditional on chemical castration.

Swedish party leader calls for chemical castration of sex offenders

The Swedish Christian Democrats (KD) leader has called for the chemical castration of certain sex offenders as part of plans for a tougher grip on sexual crime and punishment in Sweden.

Speaking to the Swedish parliament on July 1st, KD party leader Ebba Busch said, “Every day, 27 rapes are reported. How many days must pass before the government takes action?”

“Today we propose that rapists and people who commit sexual crimes against children should be able to be chemically castrated.”

The controversial chemical castration proposal was the headline grabbing soundbite in a broader set of proposals to recalibrate the structure of Sweden’s sexual crime sentencing.

Among KD’s proposed sentencing changes is a life sentence for the aggravated rape of a child, the removal of automatic conditional release for sex offenders, and an increase in the sentence for aggravated rape up to a maximum of 25 years.

In addition, they want a “monitoring period” for convicts who have been released, equivalent to one third of the sentence served.

They also want to establish a national knowledge centre for sexual violence where people who feel that they have “problematic sexuality” can receive support. The center must also “be able to administer chemical castration on a voluntary basis to those who are concerned about unwanted sexual thoughts and impulses and have a compulsive sexuality”.

READ ALSO: What’s the Swedish Christian Democrats’ abortion contract all about?

Chemical castration, she suggested, should be implemented as a condition of release for some sexual offenders. “It may mean that if a person like Nytorgsmannen is to be able to become a free man, a chemical castration must have taken place before the release,” Busch said, referring to Andreas Holm, a man sentenced in 2021 for 35 different crimes including 24 rapes.

But this is not the first time the Christian Democrats have toyed with the idea of chemical castration as a form of legal punishment. As far back as 20 years ago, under former leader Alf Svensson, the right-wing party raised the idea of conditional chemical castration of rapists and pedophiles.

At the time the proposal was rejected by all other parties.

Chemical castration, the process of preventing sex hormone production through chemicals, can reduce sexual libido but the effects on those with deviant behaviours are relatively unknown.

Chemical castration can also prove costly as it is not a one-off treatment but rather requires regular interventions, which means the police would be reliant on those sentences to chemical castration making regular trips to the authorities for further treatment.

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