Mats Alm, 35, was cleared last month of murdering Linda Chen. But on Wednesday Falun District Court sentenced him to eighteen months in prison for the crime of disturbing the peace of the dead.
In its ruling, Falun District Court said it had found convincing evidence that Alm had moved and hidden Linda Chen’s body after her death. It said, however, that it had not been proven that he had killed her.
Prosecutors have maintained that Alm murdered his partner to access a life insurance payout of around 1 million kronor. The murder and manslaughter charges fell partly because autopsies were unable to establish the cause of death.
A psychiatric examination of Alm did not reveal any serious mental disorders.
Alm, who was held on remand for almost ten months, was released from custody on 7th July ahead of the verdict. It is possible that he will not be required to serve further time.
Mats Alm first reported Linda Chen, 32, as missing on August 2nd last year. The couple, who lived together in Falun, had planned to marry the following week. Alm participated in the search for his fiancée and spoke on TV about his distress at her disappearance.
In mid-September, Alm himself went missing. After three days he was found with minor burns and in a confused state on a road between Falun and Rättvik. He told the man who found him that he had discovered his missing fiancée dead in the woods. The body was then recovered by police, after which Alm was arrested and charged with murder.
Alm told police that he had been kidnapped, drugged and held in the trunk of a car by two unidentified men. Police were later able to cast doubt on his story after it emerged that he had used his computer to go online during the period he claimed to have been kidnapped.
Alm went on trial in March for murder, with an alternative charge of manslaughter and an additional charge of disturbing the peace of the dead.