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Outrage at bomb attack on prosecutor

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Outrage at bomb attack on prosecutor
Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/ Scanpix
15:14 CET+01:00
Justice Minister Beatrice Ask has called a bomb attack on a prosecutor's home "a serious attack on the justice sustem and the democratic society."

Ask was adding her voice to those of police and prosecutors who expressed concern after the attack. The prosecutor who was targeted had led cases against organized criminal networks.

The house, in Trollhättan, 75km north of Gothenburg, was empty when the bomb exploded just after 7am. Nobody was hurt in the explosion. Police announced on Tuesday afternoon that they were treating the case as attempted murder.

"An attack of this kind against a prosecutor is clearly exceptionally serious. It is an attack on the fundamental values of a society founded on the rule of law," said Sweden's Prosecutor General, Fredrik Wersäll, who travelled to Gothenburg on Wednesday afternoon.

"I am coming to Gothenburg partly to speak with the prosecutor in question, and partly to familiarize myself with the police's work. I will also be available to answer the kind of questions that can crop up in a situation like this," he said.

Sweden's National Police Commissioner Stefan Strömberg said in a statement that the incident represented "a serious attack on the entire justice system, and is yet another sign that system-threatening criminality is on the increase."

Beatrice Ask is to go to Gothenburg on Wednesday to meet police and prosecutors. She said her main reaction to the attack was one of anger. She said that stopping such attacks requires solid police work and solid work across the justice system, but indicated she did not think policy changes were needed.

"We've got the tools; the main thing now is to ensure that they are used effectively."

The prosecutor whose home was targeted told TV4 that she would not be making detailed comments on the incident.

"I'm fine, but I don't want to speak about the incident today. I quite simply know too little about what happened," said the prosecutor.

The front door of the house and the wall beside it were covered in soot following the explosion, the window in the door was shattered, and a small porch over the front door had collapsed.

Investigators spent Tuesday examining the house for clues, along with forensic scientists. Officers were also going from door to door in the area.

Among the cases currently being worked on by the prosecutor are a shooting in which a number of members of the Brödraskapet Wolfpack criminal network are suspects. A prosecution against the suspects is expected to be lodged this week.

The prosecutor has previously led cases against biker gang-related crime. Last year she prosecuted the 27-year-old chairman of the local branch of the Bandidos biker gang for contempt of court.

Another female prosecutor was the victim of a similar attack in May. In that case, flammable liquid was poured through her letterbox and lit. A man in his twenties was charged with arson and sentenced to six years in jail. He was later cleared on appeal.

Karin Rosander, information director at the Swedish Prosecution Authority, said attacks on prosecutors were rare.

"The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention has carried out research which shows that about ten percent of prosecutors sometimes feel threatened or have faced threats at some point. These are principally verbal threats or a feeling. But for the threats to be put into practice is very unusual," she said.

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