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'Psychotic' art student trial opens

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'Psychotic' art student trial opens
08:58 CEST+02:00
The trial of Swedish art student Anna Odell after a faked psychosis she acted out as a part of a final year art project, opened in Stockholm on Monday.

Odell denies the charges of false alarm, violent resistance and fraudulent practice and her lawyer, Claes Borgström, argues that she will not be the biggest loser in the event of a conviction.

"It is more likely to have consequences for the art world and for journalists," Borgström said, according to a report in the Expressen newspaper.

Borgström was referring to the charge of "fraudulent practice" which means that she is accused of causing financial damage, although without profit.

If convicted Odell faces up to two years imprisonment. She is also the subject of a claim for 12,000 kronor ($1,700) compensation from North Stockholm Psychiatry.

The charges against 35-year-old Odell date back to January 21st 2009 when she was detained by police on Stockholm's Liljeholmen bridge following what at first appeared to be an attempt to commit suicide.

She was then taken to the psychiatric ward at St. Göran's Hospital for treatment, only to reveal the following day that the whole episode had been faked as a part of her final art exam at University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (Konstfack).

Odell, who has a history of mental illness, explained that she was highlighting deficiencies in Sweden's psychiatric care which she has argued to be "the most dictatorial part of society we have" where "patients are sometimes not believed".

While her actions have drawn criticism from police and medical staff, the opening of the exhibition of her work at the college in May generated a great deal of interest in the art world and wider media.

Anna Odell's trial at Stockholm District Court is expected to be concluded on Monday afternoon.

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