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Joachim Posener a free man

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08:20 CEST+02:00
After almost ten years on the run Joachim Posener is finally a free man. Posener disappeared from Sweden in the wake of the so-called Trustor affair in 1997 but the time limit for his prosecution has now expired.

Posener was thought to have escaped with 46 million of the 600 million kronor ($89 million) stolen from investment company Trustor in 1997. An international warrant for his arrest was issued the same year.

"The arrest order has been lifted as the limitation period for prosecution has expired," prosecutor Bernt Berger told Aftonbladet.

The Trustor affair began after British businessman Lord Moyne bought the majority stake in Trustor. Trustor's own money was illegally used to finance the purchase. Shortly afterwards, it became clear that the company had been subject to a major fraud.

Lord Moyne, a writer and son of the well-known British aristocrat Diana Mitford, was cleared of any wrongdoing. Two other men, Thomas Jisander and Peter Mattsson were convicted in 2001 but subsequently freed on appeal.

In 2004, Posener was ordered by a court to pay back 125 million kronor to Trustor. The case was tried in his absence, and attempts to find out where he was hiding were unsuccessful.

Posener's lawyer, Leif Gustafsson, has long maintained contact with his client.

"The elapsing of the prosecution term means that he can no longer be charged for any crime, so in that respect he can return to Sweden if he wishes," he told Aftonbladet.

Posener does however still owe 21 million kronor to the Swedish Enforcement Authority (Kronofogden).

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