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Fugitives benefit from statute of limitations

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09:25 CEST+02:00
Hundreds of convicted individuals who were on the run and evaded capture for a sufficiently long period of time have had their prison sentences barred under the statute of limitations. And the number has grown steadily over the last several years, reported Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

In 2002, the sentences for 15 convicts were barred. In 2007, the number was 74 and in the first seven months of 2008, an additional 54 fugitives had their sentences barred.

According to Fredrik Wilhelmsson, deputy head of the client and security unit at the Swedish Prison and Probation Service (Kriminalvården), there are few hardcore criminals involved and the runaways in question usually only have a few more months left of their sentences.

He told SvD that the most common type of runaway are is some who was not remanded into custody and who did not report to prison.

Those who have been remanded into custody are usually convicted of more serious crimes and are transported directly from jail to prison. They are often held in secure facilities at the beginning of their sentences, which makes it more difficult to escape.

A review of the regulations governing statutes of limitations is under review at the Ministry of Justice and a proposal is expected next spring.

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