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CRIME

Teens convicted for Stureby murder

The two teenagers charged with killing 15-year-old Therese Johansson Rojo in the Stockholm suburb of Stureby in June were found guilty on Wednesday by the Södertörn District Court.

Teens convicted for Stureby murder

The 16-year-old boy was convicted for murder, while his accomplice, a 16-year-old girl, was convicted for instigation of murder.

The evidence against the two presented by prosecutors was overwhelming, according to the court.

The court ordered that both teenagers undergo a psychiatric evaluation before determining their sentences.

Results from the tests aren’t expected for at least a month.

In making his final statement before the court, prosecutor Jakob Holmberg argued that both young people should be sentenced to four years of institutional juvenile care.

Both 16-year-olds appeared somewhat depressed and serious as Holmberg made his case to the court on Wednesday morning.

The boy stared at the floor while the girl gazed straight ahead.

The prosecutor said that both young people were equally responsible for the death of Johansson Rojo, even if each of them were accused of difference crimes.

According to Holmberg, the girl was responsible for urging the boy to carry out the crime.

“The motive is clear. The girl was killed to allow the youngsters’ relationship to continue,” said Holmberg.

He argued that the 16-year-old boy was credible and offered important information about the event, but that the girl’s story was distorted.

As he finished his remarks, he addressed both suspects.

“You must now live with what happened for the rest of your lives. Take the opportunity to work through this in order to get back on your feet,” he said.

Attorney Claes Borgström, who represented the 16-year-old boy, said it wasn’t so easy to sum up the case.

“This is a case about children. The accused, the victim, and the witnesses are children. This has significance for determining the sentence,” he said.

Borgström admitted that his client was largely responsible for the death of Johansson Rojo, who died from injuries caused by the boy following a party celebrating her ninth grade graduation.

“My client has never tried to hide what happened or minimize his roll. He’s provided an explanation of how it could have happened,” he said.

Borgström characterized the murder as resulting from a psychological phenomenon related to the young couple’s unusually strong teenage romance, which included engagement rings.

He said that they had an unrealistic view of adult life and how a relationship works.

He emphasized that the boy and girl as a couple were an extremely unfortunate match.

“He was submissive and she was dominant,” he said.

According to testimony and evidence gathered from mobile phone text messages, the 16-year-old girl had threatened to break up with the boy unless he killed Johansson Rojo, who had allegedly told several people that she was also in a relationship with the boy.

After asking Johansson Rojo to accompany him to a wooded area near the graduation party, the 16-year-old boy proceeded to beat and strangle the girl, leaving her for dead.

She was found early the next morning, seriously injured. She was then rushed to a hospital where she later died from her injuries.

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CRIME

Swedish Green leader: ‘Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity’

The riots that rocked Swedish cities over the Easter holidays were nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but instead come down to class, the joint leader of Sweden's Green Party has told The Local in an interview.

Swedish Green leader: 'Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity'

Ahead of a visit to the school in Rosengård that was damaged in the rioting, Märta Stenevi said that neither the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan, who provoked the riots by burning copies of the Koran, nor those who rioted, injuring 104 policemen, were ultimately motivated by religion. 

“His demonstration had nothing to do with religion or with Islam. It has everything to do with being a right extremist and trying to to raise a lot of conflict between groups in Sweden,” she said of Paludan’s protests. 

“On the other side, the police have now stated that there were a lot of connections to organised crime and gangs, who see this as an opportunity to raise hell within their communities.”

Riots broke out in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Stockholm, Norrköping, Linköping and Landskrona over the Easter holidays as a result of Paludan’s tour of the cities, which saw him burn multiple copies of the Koran, the holy book of Islam. 

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More than 100 police officers were injured in the riots, sparking debates about hate-crime legislation and about law and order. 

According to Stenevi, the real cause of the disorder is the way inequality has increased in Sweden in recent decades. 

“If you have big chasms between the rich people and poor people in a country, you will also have a social upheaval and social disturbance. This is well-documented all across the world,” she says. 
 
“What we have done for the past three decades in Sweden is to create a wider and wider gap between those who have a lot and those who have nothing.” 

 
The worst way of reacting to the riots, she argues, is that of Sweden’s right-wing parties. 
 
“You cannot do it by punishment, by adding to the sense of outsider status, you have to start working on actually including people, and that happens through old-fashioned things such as education, and a proper minimum income, to lift people out of their poverty, not to keep them there.”

This, she says, is “ridiculous”, when the long-term solution lies in doing what Sweden did to end extreme inequality at the start of the 20th century, when it created the socialist folkhem, or “people’s home”. 

“It’s easy to forget that 100 to 150 years ago, Sweden was a developing country, with a huge class of poor people with no education whatsoever. And we did this huge lift of a whole nation. And we can do this again,” she says. “But it needs resources, it needs political will.” 
 
 
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