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Man cleared of killing missing couple

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17:55 CEST+02:00
A man from Skåne has been cleared of killing a middle-aged couple who disappeared in January from their home in Båstad, 110 km north of Malmö.

Police believe the couple, a 64-year-old man and 58-year-old woman, were murdered. The pair's bodies have never been found. Both police and prosecutors say that all indications are that they are dead.

The man, 21, was charged with their murder, but Helsingborg District Court said that it was not certain that the 64-year-old man was dead, even though this was the most likely scenario. Traces of his blood on the edge of the trunk of a car used by the young man did not necessarily mean that he had been killed, the court said.

The court said it was proven that the woman was dead. However, even though it was "most likely" that she was the victim of foul play, it was not proven.

The 21-year-old was convicted of three charges including forgery and attempted fraud, for which he was jailed for one year. He had admitted applying for three bank loans in the name of the missing man, and confessed to stealing his driving licence. He has denied all along having anything to do with their disappearance.

The accused man's lawyer, Kai Erwall, said he was satisfied by the outcome.

"It was as the defence argued, and I think the judgment is correct. It feels like they have listened to the defence."

The court did not completely dismiss an argument from Erwall, who argued that the woman could have died, after which the man bundled her body into the car, before disappearing himself. This scenario was less believable, but not entirely implausible, the court said.

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