Accused child murderer appeals retrial rejection

Christine Schürrer has appealed last week’s district court decision to forgo a retrial in the Arboga murder case following accusations that lay judges were biased.

According to Schürrer’s lawyer Per-Ingar Ekblad, his client wants to have a new trial because she feels that none of the lay judges involved were impartial.

In her appeal, Schürrer claims that the district court failed to see the matter in its entirety when it considered the question of bias in the case last week.

Specifically, she wants the appeals court to consider three points related to the behaviour of the case’s lay judges.

First, Schürrer points out that one of the lay judges found herself to be bias and therefore left her post.

In addition, she explains that the head of the district court said that he has considered reporting two of the lay judges to the police, and that court officials discussed their opinion of the case with the media ahead of the verdict.

The Västmanland District Court received the appeal request on Monday afternoon and sent it along directly to the Svea Court of Appeal in Stockholm.

Fredrik Wersäll, president of the Svea Court of Appeal, told the TT news agency that it’s unusual for his court to take cases dealing with objections due to bias.

“I’m operating on the assumption that it will be handled quickly, but I can’t say how many days it is going to take [to consider the case],” he said.

Last Friday the district court justified its dismissal of Schürrer’s request for a retrial be pointing out that her guilt had already been determined when the lay judges made their statements in the press.

It was following the court’s decision that Schürrer should be sent for a psychiatric evaluation, a move signifying the court considered her guilty, that a lay judge made bias statements to a Swedish tabloid.

The head of the district court, Per Kjellson, is still considering reporting two of the three lay judges for breaching their duty to remain silent about the case.