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Shot fired through Malmö politician's window

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15:54 CEST+02:00
A shot was fired through the first floor window of the home of Malmö commissioner, Ilmar Reepalu, early on Sunday morning. Nobody was hurt in the attack, but it's the latest and most serious incident apparently connected to a local controversy over the care of a 98 year old man.

Police were called at 8.26 yesterday morning following reports of shots being fired at the Sofielund home of Reepalu, one of Malmö's leading Social Democrat politicians. On arriving at the scene, officers discovered a single bullet hole through a first floor window. Both Reepalu and his wife were out at the time and their home was empty. It's thought a pistol or revolver was used.

"We're looking for a silver grey Volvo 245 which was seen at the location of the incident," said Malmö police spokesman, Lars Förstell.

The shooting is being treated as a political crime and Säpo, the security police with responsibility for protecting politicians, have been called in.

Last Thursday, a black swastika was sprayed onto another of Reepalu's windows.

"Naturally we're investigating any possible connections between the two events. But at the moment we're exploring all possibilities," said Förstell.

Reepalu has been at the centre of a local political storm during the last few weeks over what should happen to 98 year old Gustaf Holmström. Holmström refused to be taken home following hospital treatment, saying he did not feel safe there and demanding a place in a home for the elderly. The local council wanted to provide him with an alarm and home help.

Reepalu was interviewed by SVT's Sydnytt and Rapport news programmes in April, following which he was inundated with hate mail. Some of the letters and e-mails he received made personal threats against him.

One of the letters came from senior Malmö police officer, Bengt Lindström. In his letter, Lindström demanded Reepalu withdraw "the enormous subsidies to all the bloody niggers." Reepalu reported Lindström, who is now the subject of an investigation.

Last week, Reepalu lodged a complaint regarding the news programmes with the broadcasting watchdog 'Granskningsnämnden för Radio och TV'. In his complaint, he claimed that SVT had heavily edited the interviews and given a false impression. He wrote:

"The grossly distorted items led me to receiving a large volume of letters and e-mails in which I have been accused of being arrogant and rude."

Sydnytt's editor in chief, Anders Olsson, stands by his programme's report whilst condemning recent events:

"We take responsibility for everything we put out. What's happened to Ilmar Reepalu is dispicable. But it's ridiculous to link it to a news item broadcast six weeks ago."

Reepalu himself was refusing to comment on any aspect of the shooting or other recent incidents.

"The police and I have agreed that they should handle all questions on this matter," he said.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Sydsvenskan, SVT

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