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Gothenburg woman on trial for ordering 'hit' against son-in-law

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14:16 CET+01:00
A well-known Gothenburg businesswoman who hired two hitmen to assault her son-in-law contends she should have the charges against her dropped because she never followed through on the order.

The 66-year-old woman claimed she was despondent and confused when she asked two men who managed a security guard firm to beat up her son in the autumn of 2004, the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) newspaper reports.

“I was angry with him. He tried to take over my company and had split up my family,” the woman said on Monday in a Gothenburg court, where she is on trial for charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault.

Specifically, the woman wanted her son-in-law to be beaten so badly that he would scarcely be able to speak and have diminished mental capacity.

The would-be attackers were so shocked by the woman's request that they told the son-in-law about her detailed plans.

The woman first claimed that the two men forced her to make up the story, which they had recorded on audio tape, but she later confessed to lying.

In court, the woman said she regretted requesting the attack and quickly rescinded the order.

“I realized what I was doing. I'm not a violent person,” she said.

During the investigation, the woman also said the men tried to use the recording to blackmail her for 400,000 kronor ($47,000).

“They were really threatening. I was scared,” she told the court.

The woman said she paid the men an installment of 50,000 kronor, after which she asked one of her employees, who happened to be the wife of Mehdi Seyyed, leader of the X-Team criminal gang, to have her husband intervene on her behalf.

In early January, Seyyed was sentenced to nine years in prison for involvement in two car bombing incidents in Gothenburg in 2006.

The woman's attorney, Claes Östlund, argued that his client should be freed because there is little chance of the crime being carried out and because she cancelled the directive early soon after it was first made.

But prosecutor Per Håkan Larsson contended that the risk still remains that the crime could take place.

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