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Cop suspected of 'torturing' accused doc

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Cop suspected of 'torturing' accused doc
14:44 CET+01:00
A police officer who deprived a 57-year-old anesthesiologist of sleep while she was in custody in connection with a high profile case of the death of a prematurely born baby girl is now suspected of professional misconduct.

According to the anesthesiologist from Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, who was acquitted of manslaughter charges in October 2011, police subjected her to "torture-like" methods, including sleep deprivation, in conjunction with her arrest in March 2009, the medical trade publication Läkartidningen reported.

“It was pure torture,” she told the paper in an interview published in December.

Now an officer responsible for not allowing the doctor to sleep while she was in custody is under investigation for professional misconduct.

"The police officer is currently suspected of professional misconduct, not assault. But that could change during the course of the investigation," prosecutor Håkan Roswall told the Metro newspaper.

The doctor said that, following her arrest, she wasn't given any chance to contact friends, family or colleagues directly and when she asked how long she might be held she was told "until you explain what you did".

According to the doctor, however, the police could not understand the medical terminology and thus couldn't understand her answers to their questions.

While the anestheseologist was being held, she was frequently woken by guards.

One opened the door regularly all night long. They also left the light on 24 hours a day.

Another guard insisted she get out of bed and stand up every thirty minutes, so he could be sure she was still alive.

When she finally objected, the police officer on duty responded with force.

“He threw me against the wall and said that if I didn't understand, maybe I would understand this,” she told the paper.

According to Roswall, guards are obligated to keep an eye on suspects held in remand "but not in this way".

In total, Roswall is investigating six possible crimes committed by two police officers in connection with their actions following the doctor's arrest, according to Metro.

The case stems from the death of a 3-month-old infant girl at the hospital in September 2008.

The girl was terminally ill and had serious brain damage after having been born 15 weeks premature. The birth was complicated and the baby was born unconscious due to a lack of oxygen.

In consultations with the parents, the girl was taken off life support on September 20th, 2008.

A month later, the girl's parents filed a complaint with police alleging the newborn hadn't received proper treatment after an autopsy revealed the infant had received abnormally high doses of the anesthetic thiopental.

During the trial, the parents said that the care their baby had received prior to her death was "beneath contempt".

In acquitting the doctor in October, the court said it could not be determined exactly how high a dose the baby had received, nor how the baby received the anaesthetic, and therefore the doctor could not be found guilty.

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