Ex-police chief sex trial attracts intense interest

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.

Ex-police chief sex trial attracts intense interest

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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Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.