No damages for docs in Da Costa murder case

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.


Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden.