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Three convicted in killing of teen refugee

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13:17 CEST+02:00
A 22-year-old man has been sentenced to eleven years in prison for fatally shooting a 16-year-old Afghan asylum seeker in the face at a refugee home in southern Sweden last autumn.

In addition to the shooter, two other men were also convicted for their role in the murder of the teenage boy, who had come to Sweden as an unaccompanied refugee in April 2011.

A 20-year-old man was sentenced to three years in prison for being an accomplice to manslaughter, while a third man, aged 23, received a four year prison sentence after being convicted on the same charge.

The 16-year-old boy was shot on October 15th, 2011 after he unwittingly found himself in the middle of an altercation involving the three men charged for the crime and another resident at the facility, which housed unaccompanied refugee youth.

According to the indictment, the three men originally came to the refugee home to purchase drugs.

When they couldn't find their supplier, then became upset and threatening, prompting another resident at the facility to try to get them to leave.

A fight ensued in which one of the men attempted to stab the resident in the neck.

The youngster dodged the blow, however, and ran inside the refugee home to arm himself with a broomstick.

As the 22-year-old then aimed his gun at the other resident holding a broomstick, the 16-year-old happened to walk out into the hall at which point he was shot in the face.

He was taken to hospital, but later died from his injuries.

In court, the three suspects argued that the shooting was unintentional and that the shot fired was merely a warning shot which happened to hit the boy in the face.

The Lund District Court was divided in its ruling, with the lead judge arguing that the 22-year-old should have been convicted of manslaughter as it couldn't be ruled out that the shot was indeed a warning shot.

"But by firing a shot from a gun in a small corridor toward where there were several people, the 22-year-old must have understood that there was a high risk that someone would be killed by the shot," the court wrote, according to the local Skånska Dagbladet newspaper.

The court also rejected the shooter's argument that he was acting in self-defence against several of the residents who were allegedly coming at him with various objects that could be used as weapons.

TT/The Local/dl

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