Suspected double murderer remanded

On Friday, a 23-year-old man suspected of murdering a couple near Båstad in southern Sweden was remanded into custody.

In autumn 2007, the Helsingborg District Court dismissed murder charges against the then 21-year-old man for the murder of a 64-year-old man and 58-year-old woman who lived near Båstad, 110 kilometres north of Malmö.

The couple disappeared at the beginning of 2007, but their bodies had not been found when the man was put on trial for their murder.

At that point, police reported that forensic evidence from the couple’s car linked the man to the couple’s disappearance. The 21-year-old had taken the car and sold it following the couple’s disappearance.

The couple’s bodies were later found in a lake outside of Lund in May 2008. They had been stabbed and the man’s hands were tied behind his back.

The discovery of the bodies led the police to believe that the man had been more involved in the pair’s disappearance than was previously believed.

He did not confess to the crime, but blamed an unknown man, a transient whom he had met at Knutpunkten in Helsingborg. Police have searched for the unknown man, but have never found him.

The court of appeals found that had this information been known during the previous trial, he would have likely been found guilty of murder or aggravated assault and manslaughter. On that basis, the court granted a retrial and the double murder case will be heard by the district court.

The suspect denies the accusations. The court found reasonable grounds to suspect the man for both murders, and remanded him into custody.

The court was also of the opinion that he could hinder the investigation, and the prosecutor has thus received permission to limit his contact with the outside world, among other restrictions.

During the custody negotiations, prosecutor Göran Olsson requested that the 23-year-old be remanded on murder charges. The court decided that the negotations should be held behind closed doors due to the secrecy of the preliminary investigations.

This is the second time the man has been remanded into custody for the crime. The Court of Appeal (Hovrätten) in Malmö granted a new trial on Friday and man was arrested shortly thereafter.

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