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'We didn't abduct wealthy Swede': accused couple

The Local · 12 Apr 2012, 12:35

Published: 12 Apr 2012 12:35 GMT+02:00

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The 25-year-old Uppsala student went missing from his home in late December and was taken to a derelict house in the county of Västerbotten in northern Sweden, where he was found by police eight days later.

Police soon started to suspect three individuals who had been seen in the neighbourhood, and apprehended two of them after some items belonging to the missing man were found in their car.

The third man was brought in shortly after.

According to the prosecutor, the suspected trio’s intent was to blackmail the man’s wealthy family.

According to news agency TT, the three suspects looked calm and collected at the start of the proceedings on Thursday even if the woman seemed to be struck by the seriousness of her situation as the trial opened.

The prosecutor began by stating the charges; how the woman allegedly sedated the man by drugging his food at her Uppsala flat, how both the men then threatened the victim and took him to the house in northern Sweden where he was later kept for a week.

The 26-year-old man has admitted to the charges but is of the opinion that his part in the scheme should be viewed as less serious, according to his lawyer.

The other man denies all charges, as does the woman.

She has admitted to letting the men into the apartment, but says she was unaware of the reason they came.

According to the prosecutor, however, the kidnapping had been meticulously planned, but several mistakes had been made, like leaving an extensive body of evidence behind.

Several written notes which are said to be part of the planning process of the deed were found in the woman’s boyfriend’s flat in Gothenburg.

These included notes in the woman’s handwriting on what countries would be appropriate to place the money in, budgeting for a rental vehicle, petrol and other expenses, as well as a "mind-map" headed “what could go wrong”.

The prosecutor also stressed that the notes referred to the 25-year-old victim’s nickname since May. There is also a list of equipment including chloroform, duct tape, and a tazer.

There are two plaintiffs in the case against the trio; the kidnapped 25-year-old and another man who, according to the prosecutor, had been threatened and blackmailed in connection to the sale of a flat.

Neither plaintiff was present in court on Thursday.

Story continues below…

Ylva Orrenius, one of the lawyers representing the abducted 25-year-old, told news agency TT that the prosecutor’s case seemed strong. Her client will take the stand on Tuesday.

“The trial is distressing to him, but he is also relieved that it is underway,” she told TT, adding that her client was ready to face the suspected kidnappers in the court.

TT/The Local/rm


The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:06 April 12, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
Is there no concept of perjury in Swedish law?

Can the accused here simply tell an endless sequence of lies without any consequences for obstruction of justice, and in so doing, force legal and police teams to work that much harder to determine what really happened?

In many western democracies perjury can result in up to 10 years in prison. I guess I am wishing for too much when I want to identify anything that might lengthen the prison sentences (which will be far too short, because we are in Sweden) of these utterly pathetic, shameless, and putrid kidnappers.
14:26 April 12, 2012 by Åskar
Perjury is only applicable to witnesses, not to the accused.
14:51 April 12, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
OK then what about obstruction of justice?

Martha Stewart spent months in a jail and then many more months with an ankle bracelet because she lied to investigators in 2004 about her insider trading deal. The four obstruction of justice counts EACH could have resulted in up to 5 years and 250,000 USD penalty. She was the accused, not a witness.
15:11 April 12, 2012 by Åskar
Not at all. It's part of the game that accused persons will do and say anything to save their skins and I sincerely doubt that you, before a judge, will promptly deliver the truth, no matter how little or how much incriminating for your case it is.
15:59 April 12, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
Some criminals get lighter sentences in North America when they co-operate with police and admit guilt.

And one reason why lawyers advise their clients not to testify, as witnesses at their own trials, is that they are then not subject to the laws that require that witnesses tell the truth when they supply any factual information.

In Sweden all sentences are light, whether you lie or not, so you might as well lie, but my point is that they should be able to lengthen the jail sentence for liars.
16:55 April 12, 2012 by Åskar
Anyone being tried for a crime is innocent until proven otherwise. It is therefore completely illogical if they admit guilt and even more illogical if they can be given a lighter sentence if they do.
17:24 April 12, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
Not illogical at all if they know that the facts add up overwhelmingly against them, and that the prosecutor him/herself is offering a plea bargain that would reduce the sentence for a guilty plea.

In that case a few months ago where a New Jersey teenager jumped off the George Washington bridge after it had been revealed that his Univeresity room mate had left a computer camera running to view his homosexual affair, the prosecuter offered a plea bargain where this room mate and a female friend of his could each plead guilty and get 16 months of community service, or plead innocent and be at the mercy of the courts.

The girl took the plea bargain and got the community service. The guy said he was innocent and ended up with a jail term of over10 years.
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