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'Old-timer gang' faces Swedish court

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12:45 CEST+02:00
Monday saw the start of the trial against the so-called Old–timer gang (Gubbligan), facing charges for aggravated robberies in southern Sweden between 2007 and 2010.

According to the prosecution, the three men, aged 52, 64 and 70 respectively, showed particular ruthlessness during the heists as they used explosives to gain access to the premises and were armed with live ammunition.

“I will call for lengthy prison sentences as each of the crimes carry a sentence of six-seven years in prison,” chief prosecutor Pär Andersson told news agency TT prior to the proceedings.

A few minutes after 9am on Monday morning the prosecution began delivering their opening statement. The first charge pertained a series of aggravated robberies in Sweden and Denmark.

“The defendants visited prospective crime scenes, premises and escape routes as well as where a guard could be places outside,” said Andersson in his statement.

The graying trio listened in a relaxed yet concentrated fashion while the prosecution listed the many confiscated weapons and explosives found in their possession.

The prosecution continued by describing the robberies the men have been charged with.

Andersson described how a witness, having observed the 70-year-old's getaway car on a country lane, put the police onto the silver-haired trio after a robbery in Broby, in Skåne, in southern Sweden.

Once the police were looking into their activities, an intensive investigation came under way, consisting of wiretapping both phones and premises.

The prosecutor played back a series of conversations between the charged 64-year-old and people of his acquaintance.

In one conversation the man vented his hatred against the police to a friend.

“I could go into the station and shoot thirty of them,” he said on the tape.

He then went on about fake evidence and how happy he is when a police officer is killed.

“I really hate them. There are way too few coppers shot in Sweden. At least ten should be shot per month,” he was heard saying on the tape.

The news agency TT reported that both the 64-year-old and the 52-year-old man smiled and winked to each other while the prosecution had the floor.

The 70-year-old man was scanning the faces of the gathered spectators with a long and steady gaze.

According to the prosecution the strongest evidence against the greying trio is the confiscated weapons and equipment but forensic DNA evidence will also weigh heavily against them.

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