Court rejects Albanian extradition request

The Swedish Supreme Court (HD) has backed a decision by prosecutors not to extradite a woman suspected of carrying out several murders in Albania due to concerns that her human rights would not be respected.

The court ruled that the 45-year-old Albanian woman should not be extradited to Albania as “the investigation into her case indicates that she runs a serious risk of being subjected to treatment in contravention of article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).”

The court supported the findings of the head public prosecutor in Sweden, and on the advice of the Swedish Migration Board concluded that the Albanian authorities would not be able to provide sufficient protection to the woman.

The Supreme Court cited a 2007 report by the Swedish foreign ministry on the human rights situation in Albania to support its decision.

The woman had previously been sentenced by a judge in Albania to 25 years in prison for crimes carried out in 2002, including the killing of two men to avenge her brother’s death.

She was arrested in April on international arrest warrants and has been in custody in western Sweden while courts have tried to determine whether the 45-year-old woman, and her 70-year-old brother, should be sent back to Albania.

The Supreme Court noted that the woman flatly denies the allegations against her and that she considers “the trial against her in Albania to be a show trial”, and that the “political leadership in Albania is trying to silence her.”

The woman argues that if she were to be extradited to Albania she would be “tortured, humiliated and finally murdered.”

The Supreme Court found no basis to object to the extradition according to the European Convention on Extradition but instead based its decision explicitly on concerns over the woman’s right to the protection of her human rights enshrined in the ECHR.

Article three of the convention prohibits “torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” and is commonly cited to prohibit the extradition of a person to a foreign state is they are likely to be subjected there to torture.

The Supreme Court has previously made a similar ruling in respect of her brother who has since been released from the detention centre in Alingsås.


Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden.