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Rape suspicions mount against ex-police chief

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Rape suspicions mount against ex-police chief
10:49 CET+01:00
The allegations directed at a former Swedish police chief suspected of rape continued to grow on Friday with at least five women and girls now thought to be involved in the case.

Göran Lindberg, a respected law enforcement official who recently retired after a career spanning more than 20 years, is now suspected of rape and plotting to rape at least five women and girls.

On Friday Södertorn District Court appointed Caroline Rainer as the plaintiff assistant for the seventh woman or girl involved in the police investigation against Lindberg.

The prosecutor Håkan Roswall was reluctant to comment on the number of victims involved in the case but indicated that as of Thursday afternoon five plaintiff assistants had been appointed, that number has now expanded further.

"There are so many who are reporting crimes. This concerns both people who have got in touch with us as well as those we have tracked down," Håkan Roswall to news agency TT.

According to the prosecutor only one of the plaintiffs is under 15-years-old (legal age of consent in Sweden) - a 14-year-old girl.

Håkan Roswall explained that he had trouble getting an overview of the investigation and forecast that it may take at least three to four months to put all the pieces in place. He believes that more women are set to be drawn into the investigation, perhaps already next week.

"There is a possibility that there are more. We have a lot of work in front of us," he said.

The prosecutor sought and was granted an extension to the remand warrant against Lindberg at Södertörn District Court on Thursday. The ex-police chief will now be detained for a further two weeks.

Police are continuing to work intensively with the investigation and have not ruled out that the affair could expand further.

Göran Lindberg, who as an active police officer developed an international reputation for giving talks on the importance of gender equality and the perils of sexual harassment, was arrested on January 25th on suspicion of raping a woman and attempting to rape several children.

He was arrested at a hotel in Falun in northern Sweden, where he is suspected of having been in the course of plotting to rape a girl.

He was remanded into custody at Södertörn District Court on January 28th on suspicion of raping a woman in the Stockholm suburb of Bandhagen on January 8th 2009, and having attempted to rape and plotting to rape children in Solna, Stockholm and Falun in January 2010.

Göran Lindberg denies that he has committed any crime and has protested the remand order and restrictions placed upon him.

Prosecutors fear that if Lindberg were to be allowed out of custody he could approach and attempt to influence the alleged victims, the newspaper reported.

The case against Lindberg has its origin in the investigation into a suspicious death in the suburb of Bredäng, in southern Stockholm, in July 2009 when a 60-year-old man mysteriously fell to his death from a balcony.

Lindberg's name unexpectedly turned up after police launched a preliminary investigation into the suspected murder.

During the investigation police confiscated a computer and a mobile phone which belonged to the deceased 60-year-old.

When investigators examined the contents of the machines and found the names of several men, their suspicions were aroused and they handed the matter over to the Stockholm County police force.

After intense media speculation into Lindberg's links to a purported sex ring, police leading the investigation issued a denial that there were further suspects under investigation.

"There are no other suspects at the moment,” said Jonas Trolle, who is leading the 25-person police team investigating the case.

”All the speculation about well-known men in high positions has nothing to do with our investigation," said Trolle in a statement on January 31st, adding that it was important that the media exercises some restraint.

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