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No damages for docs in Da Costa murder case

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11:05 CET+01:00
A Swedish court on Thursday ruled that the two doctors previously suspected of committing the gruesome murder of Catrine da Costa, found dismembered in 1984, are not entitled to damages.

The case is one of the most famous cases in modern Swedish legal history and the subject of intense media debate and several books.

The two doctors, a pathologist and a general practitioner, were found guilty of murder by Stockholm district court in 1988, but they were freed after a retrial.

In December the Attunda District Court held a two week hearing to consider whether to award damages to the pair, who had been demanding 40 million kronor ($5.5 million) claiming that their lives had been destroyed by their association to the case.

The Local reported in July 2009 that prosecutors had officially suspended the investigation into da Costa's murder as the statute of limitations had expired.

The decision was made on July 1st, after more than 25 years have passed since the crime was committed.

Catrine da Costa was last seen on June 10th 1984 when a man let her out of a car at Kungsträdgården in central Stockholm. On July 18th, a first bag with da Costa's bodyparts was found at Karlbergs beach in Solna, and additional bodyparts were found on August 7th. At the scene, strands of hair were found on a blue towel beside a bag. But no one knows when the bag was put there.

The investigation of da Costa's death became one of the most famous cases in modern Swedish legal history. The doctors were found guilty of murder by Stockholm district court in 1988, but were were freed after a retrial.

The court wrote that the doctors were connected to her dismemberment, but all evidence linking them her death was ruled circumstantial. They lost their licences to practice medicine in 1991.

The doctors can now explore the possibility of pursuing their claim for damages in the Svea Court of Appeal, but it is far from certain that they will be granted the required leave to do so.

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