The murdered 35-year-old was found dead in the restaurant in Borås, 65 kilometres east of Gothenburg, on a Sunday morning in April. He had died of head injuries and stab wounds.
The 17-year-old said in questioning that his colleague was murdered by masked robbers. He said that he himself had also been hit on the head and lost consciousness.
The judgment against the boy was delivered by Borås District Court on Tuesday afternoon. The Not Guilty verdict had been expected following the court’s decision last Wednesday to release him from custody. The boy, who is not a Swedish citizen, is reported to already have left Sweden to return to his homeland.
Prosecutors have previously said they will appeal any acquittal in the case, but it is thought unlikely that they will be given leave to go to the court of appeal.
One of the lay judges in the court dissented from the judgment, and wanted the boy convicted of murder. She said that the prosecutor’s hypothesis was supported by forensic evidence.
The other members of the panel wrote in the judgment that there was evidence both in his favour and to his detriment. They pointed to evidence that a number of other people had been on the premises before the police arrived and that the boy has signs of blows to his head.
The court said that the prosecutors version of events did not contain elements that were obviously unreasonable, but said nonetheless that “doubt is raised by some parts of it.”
“Neither the prosecutor’s hypothesis nor the boy’s account confirm why, how and at which point the 35-year-old was attacked with the knife. Additionally, the motive is unclear. Finally, there is doubt over what happened on the premises after the murder and before the arrival of the police,” the court wrote.