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CRIME

Police hunt Södertälje gunmen

Police are hunting three men who are suspected of shooting dead a 26-year-old man in the Geneta area of Södertälje on Thursday evening. Several people witnessed the incident.

At around 8pm the men opened fire on the man, shooting him in the back on Prosten Linders väg, a street in the town. After the shooting the men fled from the scene.

“I was sitting on my balcony when I heard the shots. There were probably three or four in a row. But I didn’t have time to see anyone,” said one man who lives in the area.

The injured man was taken to Solna’s Karolinska hospital. At 9.30pm police announced that he had died.

Police were alerted to the shooting at 7.51pm and immediately implemented a major operation. Ten police units were tasked with hunting the killers.

“We have had good descriptions of all three from the witnesses we’ve spoken to at the scene,” said Stockholm police spokesman Björn Engström.

Police cordoned off the crime scene and late on Thursday evening dog patrols searched for the murder weapon and traces of clothing along the route of the gunmen’s escape.

“It’s not uncommon that attackers ditch the clothes they’re wearing when they get away from this kind of thing,” said Stockholm detective Martin Melin.

Officers handling the case have decided not to issue a description of the attackers ‘for forensic investigation reasons’. Investigators still expect to interview more witnesses and say that they do not want to influence their description of the incident.

CRIME

Swedish terror attacker sentenced to psychiatric care

A court has sentenced the far-right extremist Theodor Engström to psychiatric care for the knife attack he carried out at the Almedalen political festival this summer.

Swedish terror attacker sentenced to psychiatric care

The Gotland district court found the 33-year-old Engström guilty of murdering the psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren, but did not agree that the murder counted as a terror attack.

It did find him guilty, however, of “planning a terror attack”, for his preparations to murder the Centre Party’s leader, Annie Lööf. 

“The murdered woman had a significant role [in society], a murder is always serious, and this had consequences both for Almedalen Week and for society more broadly,” the judge Per Sundberg, said at a press conference. 

The judge Per Sundberg announces the sentence on Theodor Engström on December 6th. Photo: Karl Melander/TT

But he said that the court judged that Sweden’s terror legislation was too restrictively drafted for her murder to count as a terror offence. 

“Despite Ing-Marie Wieselgren’s well-attested position within psychiatry, the court considers that her position as national coordinator at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions is not such that her murder can in itself be considered to have damaged Sweden. The act cannot as a result be classified as a terrorist crime on those grounds.” 

The court ruled that Engström’s crimes deserved Sweden’s most severe sentence, a life sentence in prison, but found that due to his disturbed mental state he should instead receive “psychiatric care with a special test for release”. 

In its judgement, the court said that an examination by forensic psychiatrists had found both that there were “medical reasons” why Engström should be transferred into a closed psychiatric facility and that “his insight into the meaning of his actions and his ability to adjust his actions according to such insight were at the very least severely diminished”. 

It said that under Swedish law, a court could send someone to prison who was in need of psychiatric care only if there were “special reasons” to do so. 

“The court considers that it has not been shown that Theodor Engström’s need of psychiatric care is so limited that there is a special reason for a prison sentence,” it ruled. 

Lööf wrote on Instagram that the judgement was “a relief”. 

“For me personally, it was a relief when the judgement came,” she wrote. “Engström has also been judged guilty of ‘preparation for a terror attack through preparation for murder’. This means that the the court is taking the threat towards democracy and towards politicians as extremely serious.”

The fact that the court has decided that Engström’s care should have a “special test for release” means that he cannot be discharged from the closed psychiatric hospital or ward where he is treated without a court decision. 

The court must rule both that the mental disorder that led to the crime has abated to the extent that there is no risk of further crimes, and that he has no other mental disorders that might require compulsory psychiatric care. The care has to be reassessed every six months. 

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