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CRIME

Nine years for Zyklon B poisoning attempt

The 32-year-old Swedish man who tried four times to kill his girlfriend using Zyklon B pesticide was sentenced on Friday to nine years in prison for attempted murder.

Prosecutors originally charged the man, who lives in Luleå in northern Sweden, with four counts of attempted murder.

They alleged that on four separate occasions between December 2008 and February 2009 he tried to poison his girlfriend using the Zyklon B pesticide, a cyanide-based chemical used by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

According to prosecutors, the 32-year-old ordered enough of the poison from a Czech manufacturer to kill 42,000 people.

In attempting to kill his girlfriend the man first placed cyanide in her porridge. In a second poisoning attempt, he poured a bottle of calcium-cyanide solution on her face when he thought she was sleeping, the Expressen newspaper reports.

He also planted Zyklon B in the woman’s house and in her car, but on each occasion she escaped without injury.

Ultimately, however, the Luleå District Court convicted the man on only one count of attempted murder: for the time he poured calcium cyanide in his girlfriend’s mouth and nose, subjecting her to 18 times the lethal dose of the deadly hydrogen cyanide gas which had built up in the bottle.

According to the court, the remaining three poisoning attempts were cases of attempted assault and aggravated assault, according to Expressen.

The 32-year-old was also convicted of raping his girlfriend.

In addition to the nine-year prison sentence, the man must also pay damages to his ex-girlfriend of 250,000 kronor ($33,600), about half of the amount she has requested.

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ALMEDALEN 2022

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. 

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