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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.

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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