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OFFBEAT

Diplomats immune to parking fines

Over the last year diplomats from foreign embassies and consulates in Sweden have assembled a combined total of 1,242 unpaid parking tickets.

When the fines remain unpaid they are sent on the foreign ministry, Dagens Nyheter reports. But that’s where the paper trail ends. Diplomatic immunity agreements mean that the parking violations go unpunished.

The Russian Embassy is the undisputed champion of the unpaid parking fine, with 156 tickets to its name over the last twelve months. The chasing pack is led by China (77), Slovakia (72) and France (71).

“Certain countries systematically avoid paying the fines,” foreign ministry official Berndt Magnusson told Dagens Nyheter.

But Russian diplomats have an explanation for their unorthodox parking practices: the spaces reserved for diplomats are often occupied by other cars.

“Why should we pay parking fines when somebody else has taken our space? That wouldn’t be fair,” Roman Mironov, First Secretary at the Embassy of Russia, told Dagens Nyheter.

ALMEDALEN 2022

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. 

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