Prominent local politician held in revenge murder plot

Battal Batti, a prominent local Social Democratic politician from Sandvik in east central Sweden, was remanded in custody on Sunday on suspicions of plotting an attempted murder and interference in a judicial matter, according to local media.

Batti is being held for probable cause, which is a higher degree of suspicion.

He is suspected of having ordered his 26-year-old nephew to stab two men in early May in order to settle a dispute with another family, reports the Gefle Dagblad (GD) newspaper.

The suspicions against Batti came to light last Thursday during questioning in a district court where his nephew, along with two other of Batti’s relatives, have been charged with attempted murder.

At the conclusion of the hearing, chief prosecutor Mikael Hammarstrand decided that the politician should be arrested.

Batti denies any wrongdoing, but Hammarstrand said the politician’s behaviour during initial questioning contributed to the decision to keep him in custody.

“Battal Batti doesn’t give a good impression. He is unfocused and would rather talk about something other than what I want to talk about. He has difficulty explaining why a person so close to him would lie,” Hammarstrand said to GD.

Hammarstrand added that there may be technical evidence linking Batti to the crime which he feared the politician might destroy were he to remain free.

The prosecutor refused to elaborate on what the evidence might be, however.