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CRIME

School shooting suspect remanded in custody

One of the teenage boys arrested on Friday for allegedly planning to kill the headmaster of a Stockholm school has been remanded in custody by Södertörn District Court.

The boy, 16, is suspected of making serious threats. The judge argued that there was not sufficient evidence to support the prosecutor’s call for a charge of conspiracy to murder.

Wearing a dark t-shirt and blue jeans, the boy seemed somewhat lost when he entered the courtroom, TT reports. He clutched his head in dismay upon learning of the court’s decision but was otherwise calm. He has denied the allegations made against him.

The boy’s lawyer, Thomas Wieslander, said that he had not yet spoken with his client and did not know whether they would be appealing the decision.

The boy’s family and staff from Enskede Gård Gymnasium school had come to the courtroom to support the 16-year-old.

“It is deeply regrettable that things have turned out like this. It isn’t good for the boy or for us,” said school headmaster Rolf Öden.

He was not expecting the boys to return to the school.

“We’re back to normal at the school now. This other thing will run its course. I hope it goes well for the boys and that they get the help they need to get on with their lives,” he said.

The other suspect, 17, was released from police custody on Sunday and handed over to social services.

The two teenagers were initially arrested on suspicion of conspiring to murder the headmaster of the school.

They were taken into custody on Friday morning after teachers reported concerns that they could pose a threat. They were said to be inspired by last week’s massacre in Jokela, Finland, and the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School, Colorado.

The school said that the boys had requested copies of documents showing the layout of the school premises. They had also pointed out weapons in a gun magazine and said that they intended using them to kill their schoolmates. The boys are also said to have expressed regret that “only eight” people had been killed in the Jokela attack.

POLITICS

Swedish party leader calls for chemical castration of sex offenders

Sweden's Christian Democrats have called for tougher sentences for sex offenders and making release conditional on chemical castration.

Swedish party leader calls for chemical castration of sex offenders

The Swedish Christian Democrats (KD) leader has called for the chemical castration of certain sex offenders as part of plans for a tougher grip on sexual crime and punishment in Sweden.

Speaking to the Swedish parliament on July 1st, KD party leader Ebba Busch said, “Every day, 27 rapes are reported. How many days must pass before the government takes action?”

“Today we propose that rapists and people who commit sexual crimes against children should be able to be chemically castrated.”

The controversial chemical castration proposal was the headline grabbing soundbite in a broader set of proposals to recalibrate the structure of Sweden’s sexual crime sentencing.

Among KD’s proposed sentencing changes is a life sentence for the aggravated rape of a child, the removal of automatic conditional release for sex offenders, and an increase in the sentence for aggravated rape up to a maximum of 25 years.

In addition, they want a “monitoring period” for convicts who have been released, equivalent to one third of the sentence served.

They also want to establish a national knowledge centre for sexual violence where people who feel that they have “problematic sexuality” can receive support. The center must also “be able to administer chemical castration on a voluntary basis to those who are concerned about unwanted sexual thoughts and impulses and have a compulsive sexuality”.

READ ALSO: What’s the Swedish Christian Democrats’ abortion contract all about?

Chemical castration, she suggested, should be implemented as a condition of release for some sexual offenders. “It may mean that if a person like Nytorgsmannen is to be able to become a free man, a chemical castration must have taken place before the release,” Busch said, referring to Andreas Holm, a man sentenced in 2021 for 35 different crimes including 24 rapes.

But this is not the first time the Christian Democrats have toyed with the idea of chemical castration as a form of legal punishment. As far back as 20 years ago, under former leader Alf Svensson, the right-wing party raised the idea of conditional chemical castration of rapists and pedophiles.

At the time the proposal was rejected by all other parties.

Chemical castration, the process of preventing sex hormone production through chemicals, can reduce sexual libido but the effects on those with deviant behaviours are relatively unknown.

Chemical castration can also prove costly as it is not a one-off treatment but rather requires regular interventions, which means the police would be reliant on those sentences to chemical castration making regular trips to the authorities for further treatment.

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