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CRIME

Arboga murders suspect remanded into custody

The German woman suspected in connection with the Arboga child murders in March was remanded to remain in custody in Västerås on Saturday. The woman is also being held on suspicion of the attempted murder of the children's mother.

The 31-year-old woman appeared impassive when she heard the prosecutor read out the charges in the case: murder of the two children and attempted murder of their 23-year-old mother.

After the 20 minute hearing the district prosecutor, Frieda Gummesson, was unwilling to comment on the body of evidence in the investigation.

Gummesson said only that she was happy with the remand hearing and the decision and left the district court in Västerås without further delay.

The 31-year-old woman’s lawyer, Per-Ingvar Ekblad, took the time to talk to the assembled media but said little to shed any light on the ongoing investigation. Ekblad plans to submit an appeal against the remand decision on Monday on behalf of his client.

“I do not think that the information presented in the remand hearing is sufficient to hold someone on probable cause. I am therefore going to appeal the decision to the court of appeal on Monday.”

Ekblad maintained that the prosecutors case was based on circumstantial evidence.

During the remand hearing the 31-year-old woman sat still with her hands folded in her knee. She confirmed to the court that she could understand Swedish but requested that the court proceedings be translated in to German by an interpreter.

The remand hearing in Västerås on Saturday was the fifth involving the woman since the murders on March 17th but the first in which she has been present.

CRIME

Swedish court clears former Swedbank CEO of fraud charges

Birgitte Bonnesen, a former CEO of Swedish bank Swedbank, has been acquitted of charges of fraud and sharing insider information.

Swedish court clears former Swedbank CEO of fraud charges

The ruling from the Stockholm District Court comes four years after the eruption of a money laundering scandal implicating the bank.

In 2019, Swedish public service broadcaster SVT alleged that at least 40 billion kronor (equivalent at the time to $4.4 billion) of suspicious and high-risk transactions had been channelled to Baltic countries, notably Estonia, from Swedbank accounts.

The revelations, which saw the bank’s share price crumble, rendered Bonnesen’s position untenable and she was fired.

Sweden’s financial regulator the following year fined the bank some 360 million euros and warned it to follow anti-money laundering laws.

Prosecutors later charged Bonnesen, accusing her of “intentionally or by aggravated negligence” providing false or misleading information about the steps the bank had taken to prevent and detect suspected money laundering.

Bonnesen, who risked two years in prison, denied all of the charges against her.

The court said that while some of the statements the former CEO made to media outlets had been “unclear and incomplete”, they did not amount to fraud.

“For criminal liability, it is not enough for someone to make a false statement or omit key information,” judge Malou Lindblom said, adding that any statement needed to be sufficient to influence recipients “in a certain direction”.

Bonnesen was also cleared of charges of revealing insider information by informing the bank’s main owners that the investigative documentary was coming.

The court said the former CEO had only revealed what she believed the documentary would cover, which was deemed too “imprecise” to be considered insider information.

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