“The reaction will simply be that the trial will continue exactly has we had thought and hopefully be concluded in the appropriate way,” said Per Kjellsson, lead judge from the Västmanland district court where the case was heard, to the TT news agency.
Kjellsson admitted however that the accusations of bias from Schürrer and her lawyer had affected the mood of the court.
“There was concern, naturally, that the trial would have to be conducted again. It creates a huge amount of additional work. Then you think about the parties involved. I’m guessing they are quite relieved over the decision,” he said.
The complaint was filed after Cecilia Uggla, one of the lay judges involved in the case, left her post following statements she made to the media which indicated she was biased against Schürrer.
The following day Schürrer’s lawyer Per-Ingvar Ekblad reported the two remaining lay judges and demanded a new trial with new judges.
Ekblad’s complaint stemmed from his contention that the two other judges had also made statements to the media such as “There is no reason to lie if one knows the truth.”
But the appeals court found nothing to suggest that the two male lay judges had exhibited bias during the trial.
In addition, they found that Uggla’s statements alluding to how the court came to its decision in the case did not fall under the general provision against revealing what was said during closed door deliberations.
At the same time, the court stated that reports about what she had said didn’t indicate that she had been inconsiderate or acted in a way that damaged the credibility of her impartiality.
The court of appeal’s decision affirms an earlier ruling by the Västmanland District Court that there is no need for a retrial.