“I don’t know if the person in question was particularly tired, or something to that effect. This just simply should not happen,” said regional prosecutor Nils-Eric Schultz to daily newspaper Metro.
The civil servant, a local business man, was charged with signing off on a number of “false” invoices, amounting to the value of nearly a quarter of a million Swedish crowns ($36,000).
However, the man was acquitted after the hearing, as the court didn’t think there was enough evidence to prove that the invoices were indeed fake.
Prosecutor Schultz finds it most peculiar that the judge decided to acquit the man of his offences since one of the lay judges were asleep while the accused was being questioned.
Each time the lay judge fell asleep, the proceedings were interrupted.
“It is a very peculiar ruling. But I also have further documentation that will be added in a new trial,” Schultz told Metro.
In Sweden, lay judges serve as part of the bench and are used instead of a jury. Both the lay judges and the professional judge are responsible for the verdict.