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Outrage over teens' two-month detention without charges

TT/David Landes · 9 Jun 2009, 07:56

Published: 09 Jun 2009 07:56 GMT+02:00

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“Only Albania and Spanish martial law have similar rules,” attorney Thomas Olsson told the Västerbottens Folkblad newspaper.

The five teens, ages 16 to 19, are being held on suspicions of attempted murder while prosecutors continue their investigation in an effort to bring formal charges.

But Olsson, who represents the youngest suspect, takes issues with both the extended detention as well as the tough restrictions placed on his client and the other young people.

“Isolation and restrictions can be detrimental to a person’s mental health and diminish someone's capacity to defend himself against criminal charges,” Olsson told the newspaper.

The teens are in custody with complete restrictions, meaning they are locked in a cell 23 hours a day, totally cut off from their surroundings, and without access to newspapers, television, or radio.

Olsson points out that the United Nations has repeatedly criticized Sweden for rules governing the detention of criminal suspects pending formal charges.

“In other countries it's evidently quite possible to conduct a criminal investigation without needing to keep people isolated,” he said.

The prosecutor in the case, Kjell Janneson, said it’s unfortunate that the 16-year-old needs to be detained, but he still believes the measure is necessary for the case in question.

“Had it been a less serious crime and another person, we may have considered other solutions, ” said Janneson, adding that the 16-year-old has a criminal past.

Story continues below…

The five teens are in custody on suspicion of attempted murder in relation to an incident in which three people were badly beaten outside a gym in Mariaberg on April 9th of this year.

The assailants allegedly used a 20 kilogramme weight rack in the attack, causing life-threatening injuries to one of the victims, leaving him with a fractured skull, impaired speech, and partially paralyzed, according to Västerbottens Folkblad.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:19 June 9, 2009 by mkvgtired
"The assailants allegedly used a 20 kilogramme weight rack in the attack, causing life-threatening injuries to one of the victims, leaving him with a fractured skull, impaired speech, and partially paralyzed, according to Västerbottens Folkblad."

Sounds like a good group of kids. If they are proven guilty I would keep each locked up in isolation for 24 (instead of 23) hours per day until they die. Teach these losers a lesson.
21:13 June 9, 2009 by svenskdod
The actual outrage is the fact that these monsters even have rights. They are not fit to live in society. Once convicted their names should be out on display, and their family shamed. Some of the blame should rest with the parents.
22:36 June 9, 2009 by Braderunner Rennuredarb

I guess that is what you get when you have bad parenting and allow your kids to run like thugs.

Execute them.
23:34 June 9, 2009 by "green Swede"
Does anybody in anyway connected with the swedish justice system ever read the local,in any event i'm sure it's not just us ex pats who feel disgusted by another blatant example of the rights of THE LOWEST levels of society having there rights hearlded from the roof tops at the expense of the poor guy with the fractured skull and speech problem.this type of S@#T ie CRIME should be a MAJOR issue at the next general election.Followed by police effectivness etc etc
10:56 June 10, 2009 by Jeffi
Most other western civilizations collect evidence first, charge and remand to custody second. Only if there is a flight risk or high possibility for re-offending will the suspect be held in custody, but never, ever will they be kept incarcerated while police wander about and collect evidence in due course of time. People have rights, even thugs. Victims have the right to a speedy court date of those who victimized them. Offenders, surprisingly, have rights too. That is part of living in a social democracy. Being held for a "suspicion" means lack of evidence. Means no trial by media, either. Innocent until proven guilty under the laws of the state. Period. We don't have to like this basic principle, but really, humans are better off following it.
11:26 June 10, 2009 by "green Swede"
problem no 1. thugs and or violent offenders having rights.no 2.social democracy,well at the risk of giving the wrong impression,the benefits of "other" forms of government in relation to violent crime I believe will become more attractive if this disgusting lax attitude to the serious punishment AND treatment of these "people",as in when you cease to behave in a human fashion,why should you ever expect to be treated so.
20:37 June 12, 2009 by spy
Sweden's national lottery = the judicial system.
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