Convicted serial killer acquitted of murder

The Falu district court on Friday acquitted serial killer Thomas Quick for the murder of Israeli tourist Yenon Levi in 1988.

Convicted serial killer acquitted of murder

Chief prosecutor Eva Finné dropped the charge in May after Quick requested a new trial. He will also receive the requested compensation for the costs associated with his request for a new trial.

“The ruling was expected, but it is always satisfying when cases and matters can be concluded,” said Quick’s lawyer Thomas Olsson.

“Now we have the first acquittal verdict in a long series of verdicts.”

According to Olsson, in this situation, Quick is not demanding any damages.

“We are completely focussed on working on new trial applications in the other cases and prioritising the work,” Olsson said.

Olsson spoke with Quick right after receiving the judgment.

“He is extremely relieved now that it is definitely clear that he is not guilty of this murder and also sees this as the first step in a long series of acquittals,” he said.

On December 17th of last year, the court of appeal granted Quick a new trial for the murder of Levi in Hedemora in central Sweden southwest of Gävle, a crime that took place in June 1988.

On May 28th, prosecutor Finné dropped the charge against Quick because the crime could not be proven, a move which paved the way for Friday’s ruling.

Quick has now received a formal acquittal in Falu district court. In addition, the court decided that he should receive compensation for his trial costs of slightly more than 2.4 million kronor ($332,000).

Quick expressed his happiness about the formal acquittal on Twitter under the name Sture Bergwall, which he now uses.

“ACQUITTED! Falu district court informed me of that now – first new trial request is wholly closed – wonderful!” and “It has been a long wait, to now have the acquittal on paper means an great deal for the future – ACQUITTED!” he wrote

Quick has also sought a new trial for the murder of Norwegian girl Therese Johannessen in Drammen, Norway in 1988.

Prosecutor Björn Ericson at the National Police-related Crimes Unit (Riksenheten for polismål) in Malmö has reviewed the application for a new trial and does not oppose a new judicial review.

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Swedish ‘serial killer’ cleared of two murders

A Swedish man originally convicted of eight murders saw two more of the killings wiped from his record when the prosecutor's office announced Tuesday it was dropping charges in a retrial.

Swedish 'serial killer' cleared of two murders

The decision leaves Sture Bergwall — for many years known as Thomas Quick and long considered Scandinavia’s worst serial killer — with just one murder on his record.

The prosecution said on Monday it would not prosecute Bergwall, 63, for the deaths of a Dutch couple, Marinus och Janni Stegehuis, who were found stabbed to death at a highway rest stop in Appojaure, in northern Sweden, in 1984.

He was convicted of their murders in January 1996 after confessing to the crime. But he later retracted his testimony, and a retrial was ordered.

The prosecution authority said in a statement it was dropping charges in a retrial “since there is not sufficient evidence that Sture Bergwall committed the crime.”

The Bergwall case has sparked a controversy in Sweden, because of the ease with which he was found guilty of the eight murders, which occurred between 1976 and 1988.

Swedish Justice Minister Beatrice Ask vowed last year to conduct a review of how the courts could have convicted him.

During therapy for an armed robbery conviction, Bergwall confessed to all eight murders along with more than 20 others committed in Sweden, Norway and Finland — for which he was not tried — often describing how he butchered his victims and in at least one case ate the body parts.

In December 2008, however, he suddenly withdrew all his confessions, saying he had been craving attention at the time and had been heavily medicated by doctors.

He has since been acquitted in three cases, had the charges dropped in four cases, and has been granted a retrial in the remaining case.

Bergwall is serving a life term in a psychiatric institution.

AFP/The Local/dl

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