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Swedish doc free from child porn charges due to slow probe

TT/Rebecca Martin · 11 May 2011, 10:38

Published: 11 May 2011 10:38 GMT+02:00

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"It is such gratifying news," the doctor told newspaper Metro after hearing that the case would be dropped.

Police had been investigating the doctor since 2005, upon the discovery of the vast amount of child porn material on his computer.

The doctor's extensive child porn holdings were uncovered in a massive raid carried out in 2004 dubbed "Operation Sleipner" which targeted 120 people suspected of possessing or distributing child porn.

At first, the doctor was suspected of aggravated child pornography crimes.

But because there was so much evidence to go through, it wasn’t until this year that police were able to determine that the doctor had not shared the material further or showed any indication of planning to do so.

Without the intent to spread the images of child pornography further, the doctor could only be charged with a minor child porn offences, which in turn carry a statute of limitations of five years instead of ten.

As a result of the the crime being downgraded, prosecutors had no choice but to drop the case.

This is not the first time that the period for prosecution of a similar crime is expired due to a lengthy investigation.

Local paper Västerbottenkuriren reported in April about an investigation into child pornography crimes which dragged out more than five years because of the copious amount of material stored on two discs confiscated by police.

When the case was finally handed over to prosecution it was too late and the charges where dropped.

Story continues below…

Björn Sellström from Sweden's National Bureau of Investigation (Rikscriminalpolisen) expressed his regret over the lengthy investigation into the doctor's child porn holdings.

“It would certainly be possible to argue that the investigation should have been quicker to determine whether this was an aggravated crime or not and thereby kept an eye on the statute of limitations,” he told Metro.

The doctor has denied all charges since the beginning of the investigation.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:57 May 11, 2011 by technoviking
Don't pay your taxes and do 4 years in jail...

Pedophiles and murderers walk or get the same sentence.

Way to have your priorities straight Sweden.
12:55 May 11, 2011 by StockholmSam
Imagine all the man-hours down the drain. Tax money well spent. Kudos Swedish police!
13:11 May 11, 2011 by Twiceshy
and people says swed's take too much vacation time? ha! this shows...... O' nver mind!
13:29 May 11, 2011 by eZee.se
If they spent half their time chasing kids who download MP3s instead of actual crimes like this... Oh, I forgot... they cannot do that because their corporate masters at the Music and Film industries gave them strict instructions.

Good job Swedish police, a very good job. Pat yourselves on the backs and spend some quality time with your kids...
13:55 May 11, 2011 by Tennin
The person should do the time regardless of how long back the crime was done. Just because it took them too long to look through the sicko's insane amount of kiddy porn, he shouldn't be able to walk away freely. Why doesn't this country take sex crimes more seriously?

I'm sure if he didn't pay his taxes for year or two he'd be in much more serious trouble.
14:55 May 11, 2011 by Lostaussie
This country takes sex crimes very seriously. You don't even need evidence, just been in the same room will do. Ask Assange
20:42 May 11, 2011 by Grandson of Swedish Emigrants
To an outsider, the Swedish "justice" system makes no sense at all.

You take years and drop charges on child pornography, but throw the book (and all kinds of international legal resources) at Wiki-leaks founds JA when he is probably guilty of consentual sex without a condom.

What a strange justice system. In a year the Swedish "justice system" will be the laughing stock of the world, if it already isn't.
16:59 February 17, 2012 by stevo1
why didn't the police apply for extended time frame from the courts due to the vast amount of material?

Seems not police fault, more like the state prosecutor dropped the ball...

I know why we had swede social workers visit my country to learn how the world deals with child abuse.
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