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Ex-police chief sex trial attracts intense interest

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Ex-police chief sex trial attracts intense interest
11:31 CEST+02:00
The sex crimes trial against former police chief Göran Lindberg has opened on Tueday morning amid intense media interest. Lindberg faces 23 counts of rape, pimping and buying sex.

The defendant appeared resolute when he entered the courtroom and confessed to none of the counts except those related to buying sex. As police chief, Lindberg established a reputation for being a champion of equality.

Lindberg wore a dark blue sweater and light blue shirt. While the prosecution read out paragraph after paragraph of the rape cases and sexual assaults of which he is accused, Lindberg looked down at the table and leafed through his papers.

"He denies the crime and repudiates the individual claims," said his lawyer, Karl Harling.

The only crimes that he acknowledged were the eight counts relating to the purchase of sexual services.

The prosecution requested a closed session for the trial and the court agreed.

"I would be forced to leave out the names and circumstances that make it is possible to identify the individuals," said prosecutor Håkan Roswall.

Lawyer Elisabeth Massi Fritz, who is representing one of the defendants, expects Lindberg to receive a long prison sentence.

"If he is convicted, I believe he may get 10 years or more," she said.

Interest from the public and media is intense in the case which has unravelled in the public eye since Lindberg's arrest in January.

Lawyer Max Fredriksson is representing one of the most vulnerable female victims in the case. He said that his client found the court decision on Monday to waive confidentiality for much of the police investigation extremely difficult.

"She is really not doing well," said Roswall. "Everything is difficult for her right now. Above all, she is afraid that it will be possible to identify her."

Fredriksson also told news agency TT that his client had wanted to report a slew of further incidents, but the prosecution lacked concrete evidence.

"I believe that (the case) is much larger, but it comes down to word against word," he said.

Lindberg is being prosecuted for four rapes, of which one is aggravated, and 10 cases of pimping. He is also suspected of buying sex on seven occasions, as well as one case of an attempted purchase of sexual services from a child.

The rapes were characterised by humiliation and the woman in one of the cases was exposed, according to the prosecution, to "sadistic sexual violence". Lindberg also allegedly chained a 17-year-old girl's arms and legs to a bed and raped her.

Included in the evidence were pictures of the bag that the man carried with him, which had handcuffs, leashes and other sex toys that according to the indictment, he used during the assaults.

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