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Police hid details of man's fatal injuries

TT/David Landes · 8 Oct 2009, 07:57

Published: 08 Oct 2009 07:57 GMT+02:00

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On Wednesday, vice prosecutor Bo Lindgren announced he planned to reopen the probe into the death of 24-year-old Johan Liljeqvist. Rather than pursue the investigation himself, however, he has elected to hand it off to colleague.

“If new information comes up, it’s not appropriate for me to look through it again considering my previous standpoint,” Lindgren told the TT news agency.

Within a day of Lindren’s decision, it was revealed that internal investigators within the police department attempted to hide the extent of the 24-year-old’s injuries from his family and journalists.

Lindgren had abandoned his preliminary investigation into the matter last summer.

Despite the fact that a forensic medical examination report showed that the violent arrest of Liljeqvist led to his death, no police officers have ever been held to account.

The 24-year-old was arrested in Gothenburg in April 2008 after kicking a car. During the arrest, he was reportedly pinned to the ground by as many as four police officers. Liljeqvist was held down with such force and for so long that he eventually stopped breathing.

When prosecutors abandoned the preliminary investigation, they distributed a copy to journalists and Liljeqvist’s family. But several lines of the medical examiner’s report had been redacted by police.

In the original report, there are passages explaining that the 24-year-old had several haemorrhages on his body as well as injuries to his ribcage from baton blows.

The medical examiner also found haemorrhaging in Liljeqvist’s eyes resulting from him being held against the ground by police.

Story continues below…

But the police had blacked out all the information about the injuries caused by police during Liljeqvist’s arrest in the publicly released version of the report.

At the same time, however, they let stand information indicating that the 24-year-old had LSD in his blood at the time of his death.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:04 October 8, 2009 by Staffs
A thorough investigation and if found guilty beyond all reasonable doubt then a life sentence for each officer.

These cun*s are supposed to protect us, not kill us.
12:12 October 8, 2009 by farnoxo
About time the cocky and extremely arrogant swedish police are held accountable. They have such a huge, swaggering attitude - in fact one of the very first things I noticed the first time I came to Sweden was how rude and arrogant the police here appeared to be. On antoher ocassion, having followed a police car doing at least 180 km/h with no blue lights or siren (was it close to closing time the local doughnut shop / kebab kiosk) made me realise that they (the Swedish police) think they are above the law!
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