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Murder trial starts for Malmö sniper suspect

14 May 2012, 08:52

Published: 14 May 2012 08:52 GMT+02:00

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Dozens of journalists were lined up outside a Malmö courthouse on Monday morning for the start of the trial of the man suspected of carrying out a spate of racially-motived shootings that terrorized the city.

Mangs, 40, is on trial for three murders and three attempted murders in connection with a string of shootings which overwhelmingly targeted victims with immigrant backgrounds.

According to TT's on-site reporter, around two dozen reporters had lined up outside the Malmö District Court early Monday morning in order to get a seat in the gallery.

Security surrounding the highly anticipated trial is tight, with a number of extra police officers on duty.

The street outside the courthouse has also been blocked off and the suspect himself is set to be placed be placed behind bullet proof glass.

Mangs stands charged with killing two men of immigrant origin in 2003 and one Swedish woman who had been sitting in a car with an immigrant man in late 2009.

He was also charged with 12 attempted murders in which he fired numerous shots with his Glock 19 pistol at homes, businesses and cars as well as out in the open, seriously injuring a number of people and coming close to killing many others.

Prosecutor Solveig Wollstad opened Monday morning's proceedings by reading through the crimes of which Mangs stands accused.

Mangs looked "relaxed and unaffected" as the trial began, according to Skånska Dagbladet's on-site reporter.

As the prosecutor read through each of the counts against Mangs, through his lawyer, categorically denied all the charges of murder and attempted murder.

Mangs did, however, admit to two counts of vandalism for shooting and damaging two signs.

He's been in police custody since his November 2010 arrest as investigators pieced together the case against him, resulting in a charges sheet which is reportedly 60 pages long.

Mangs's arrest came after police in Malmö began to suspect a serial killer was wreaking havoc on the city.

Story continues below…

Similarities between a series of recent shootings in the case and the so called "Laser Man" killer in Stockholm, who shot 11 people between 1991 and 1992, left Malmö gripped in fear.

The trial is expected to last 25 days.

TT/The Local/dl

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