‘I was in survival overdrive’: victim

On Tuesday it was the 25-year-old kidnapping victim’s turn to tell his version of events in the abduction drama which took place in Uppsala at the end of last year.

'I was in survival overdrive': victim

”I panicked because I thought I was going to be killed”, the 25-year-old victim said, according to news agency TT.

The 25-year-old’s voice broke a little when he told his story and he went temporarily quiet when he mentions his mortal fear.

The defendants, listening from the other side of the court room, smiled every now and again as he recounted the events.

According to the man, the only one of the defendants that he knew was the woman, whom he knew from high school.

She had contacted him through Facebook and they had met up. The woman came to his apartment, bringing a pie with her.

”She gave me three quarters of the pie which she put taco salsa on,” said the 25-year-old.

He stated that he remembered that it tasted bitter.

“She said ‘it is a special spice that my mum has brought from Spain’,” the man told the court.

However, wanting to be polite, he ate the pie while they both watched TV and then he fell asleep. He later woke up by someone beating him. The 25-year-old was carried to a car which then drove off. His kidnappers had taped down his arms, legs, shoulders, head and mouth.

”I remember that I found it hard to breathe because of the tape,” said the 25-year-old.

One of the kidnappers pretended to be Russian and told his victim that his abduction is revenge for a vendetta between the man’s uncle and a Russian mafioso.

“It was a completely bizarre situation,” said the 25-year-old.

While in the car he panicked completely, utterly sure that he was going to get killed. He was told that the house in northern Sweden, which he was subsequently taken to, was located on the Kola peninsula in northern Russia.

“I went into some sort of survival overdrive,” said the man.

If the kidnapping failed, the uncle and his entire family would be killed, the kidnappers told him. They demanded his passwords to his Facebook account and his mobile phone.

From these they were planning to send messages that would lead family and friends to believe that he had got cold feet over his wedding, had religious doubts and had therefore travelled to Israel.

The prosecutor had previously mentioned these posts being uploaded on the victim’s page.

TT/The Local/rm

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Three Swedish universities earn spots in top 100

Three Swedish universities made it into the top 100 in an annual ranking of the world's best schools on Tuesday, but some of the country's higher education seats dropped from last year.

Three Swedish universities earn spots in top 100
Students at Lund University. Photo: Aline Lessner/

Lund in southern Sweden was again picked as Sweden's top university and came 73rd in the QS World University Rankings, but dropped three ranks on last year (and down from 60 in 2014).

Eight Swedish universities feature in the QS rankings, and all but three fell in the global list.

The ancient Uppsala University climbed back to the top 100, landing a spot in 98th place. Further down the list, Linköping and Umeå Universities both edged up to 282nd and 294th place, up from 286th and 319th, respectively.

The Royal Institute of Technology (Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, KTH) dropped from 92nd to 97th place. Gothenburg-based Chalmers University of Technology fell from number 132 to 139 (which is still an improvement on its 175th place in the 2014 QS World University Rankings).

Lund was given a five-star ranking in addition to its place in the list. “Lund is Sweden's most attractive study destination. The compact university campus encourages networking and creates the conditions for scientific breakthroughs and innovations,” read the QS description.

“The university has a clear international profile, with partner universities in over 70 countries. Funding of more than 5 billion kronor a year goes to research at eight faculties, which gives Lund one of Sweden's strongest and broadest ranges of research activity.”

THE LOCAL SWITZERLAND: ETH Zurich best in continental Europe

Now in their 13th year, the annual rankings are compiled by global higher education analysts Quacquerelli Symonds (QS), and rank 916 institutions according to four key pillars: research, teaching employability and internationalization.

For the first time in more than a decade US universities took all three top spots, with MIT placing first for the fifth successive year ahead of Stanford and Harvard, knocking Britain's Cambridge to fourth.

Tuesday's list comes less than a month after the Shanghai Rankings, which picked the Karolinska Institute as the best university in Sweden.