High-profile teen murder trial begins

High-profile teen murder trial begins
The high-profile trial of four 16-year-old boys charged with the murder of teenager Riccardo Campogiani began in Stockholm on Friday morning. A fifth boy has been charged with incitement to aggravated assault.

Stockholm District Court made a decision on Thursday to hold the trial in a secure courtroom due to threats made against the accused and their families. Due to the young age of the suspects, the case is to be heard behind closed doors.

Prosecutor Jens Nilsson intends to call 14 witnesses during the trial, among them Riccardo Campogiani’s best friend.

Campogiani, who was 16, died after being beaten unconscious outside a party venue in Stockholm’s Kungsholmen district on October 6th.

Speaking last week, Nilsson said the four teenagers charged with murder acted jointly. They deliberately killed him by pushing him to the ground and repeatedly kicking his head and body, the prosecutor said.

The fifth boy, charged with assault and incitement to aggravated assault, allegedly encouraged the other four to “set upon” Campogiani. The prosecution plans to use the account he gave in questioning in evidence against the other four.

The beating led to Campogiani suffering a brain haemmorage. His brain swelled, leading to a heart attack. An autopsy found that he died as a result of the kicks to his head.

Nilsson contends that the boys were indifferent to the consequences of the assault and as a result could be said to have had intent when they inflicted the fatal injuries on Campogiani. The four share culpability for the attack, said Nilsson. They acted together and in a coordinated manner, he argues.

The prosecutor added that he had strong evidence against the accused, with blood from the victim found on the shoes of two of the accused.

Only one of the four boys accused has admitted kicking Campogiani, although he denies kicking his head. Nilsson said he was not surprised that the victim had been kicked while already lying on the ground.

“I see this a lot,” he said.

The fatal assault of Campogiani shocked Sweden. Thousands of people around the country took part in demonstrations against street violence following the death. Crown Princess Victoria was among those who demonstrated against violence.

One of those being prosecuted for murder has also been charged with beating another person on the same night.