Trial witness shot in Malmö
TT/The Local · 26 May 2010, 16:16
Published: 26 May 2010 16:00 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 May 2010 16:16 GMT+02:00
The victims were both shot at a bus stop on Erikfältsgatan, in the Söderkulla area of the city centre. The alarm was raised at 8:30am on Wednesday.
The male victim, 33, was due to testify at the trial a 30-year-old man charged with assault, drugs offences and drunk driving. The man was the alleged victim in the assault case.
The trial has now been called off, according to the Sydsvenskan newspaper.
Prosecutor Bo Albrektsson said that he believed that the 33-year-old had been reluctant to testify, but did not have reason to believe that he was scared or had been threatened.
According to Sydsvenskan, the victim was approached by two men who asked whether he was due to testify at the trial. When he confirmed that he was, he was shot by one of the men. The woman, 24, is believed to have been hit by the same bullet or by splinters from the bullet.
Witnesses have said they saw two men running from the scene.
“We are now looking for them. We are also going to interview the witnesses,” said Mikael Persson of Skåne Police.
Both victims were conscious when they arrived at the hospital. Police were on Wednesday morning conducting a search of the crime scene.
The Swedish Court Service underlines on its website the importance of ensuring the safety the 100,000 people who testify in trials each year. Courts use volunteers to support witnesses and offers the possibility for people to testify without the presence of a person of whom they are afraid. The possibility of permanent security checks at court entrances is currently being discussed.
The safety of witnesses and victims outside of court buildings is primarily the responsibility of the police, said Hjalmar Forsberg, chief justice at Stockholm District Court. He said it was very unusual for witnesses to be protected by being driven to court by police.
“I have known it to happen on a few occasions,” he said.
Forsberg said it was extremely important to ensure the safety of people due to appear in court:
“It is a disaster when something happens like that which has clearly just happened in Malmö,” he said.