• Sweden's news in English

Malmö sniper suspect 'not a racist': lawyer

14 May 2012, 14:49

Published: 14 May 2012 14:49 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Through his lawyer, Peter Mangs, 40, denied 19 of 20 charges against him but pleaded guilty to vandalism for shooting two signs in the southern Swedish city.

Mangs stands accused of three counts of murder and 12 counts of attempted murder in a string of shootings many observers insist were racially motivated, something his defence lawyer Douglas Norking denied.

"Peter Mangs is not a racist. He doesn't have anything against other cultures," the lawyer told the court on Monday afternoon, according tothe Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

"There is no motive. He doesn't have a relationship with any of the plaintiffs. He hasn't met them and he doesn't have anything against them."

Defence attorneys also pointed out that there is no DNA or fingerprint evidence supporting prosecutors' case against Mangs.

"Peter Mangs hasn't fired any of the gunshots which hit any of the plaintiffs," said Norking, adding that investigators lack evidence tying Mangs to the crime scenes.

Mangs was arrested in November 2010 following a massive police manhunt amid the string of attacks on immigrants in Sweden's third largest city of Malmö.

Malmö prosecutors have charged him with killing two men of foreign origin, aged 66 and 23, in 2003, and a 20-year-old Swedish woman, Trez West Persson, who was sitting in a car with an immigrant man with a criminal record in 2009.

He also faces 12 attempted murder charges for firing shots with a Glock 19 pistol on homes, businesses and cars and out in the open, seriously injuring a number of people and coming close to killing many others.

"His actions have put lives in danger," prosecutor Solveig Wollstad said as she described each case, including shots fired at a Malmö mosque.

Mangs, who is reportedly unemployed with a history of psychiatric troubles, is also suspected of plotting another murder, repeatedly carrying his gun to the home of a man he allegedly intended to kill.

Other charges against him included making illegal threats, vandalism and aggravated judicial tampering, all in 2009 and 2010.

Wollstad insisted last week that the prosecution had a very strong case, referring to a large number of witness accounts, as well as technical and digital evidence listed in the 60-page charge sheet.

The exact motive remained unclear, Wollstad said last week, adding: "There is a certain level of xenophobia but also other things, like aggression towards people who have previously been found guilty of crime."

During her review of the charge sheet earlier on Monday, Wollstad explained that empty shell casings that could be tied to Mangs's gun had been found near the scenes of some of the shootings.

According to prosecutors, Mangs told a friend that he had shot West Persson.

When Mangs was arrested, police found a gun with a silencer, a bullet-proof vest as well as a wig and a mask.

Mangs' trial, which is set to last until mid-July, opened as the trial of mass killer Anders Behring Breivik continued in neighbouring Norway.

Breivik, who has said his massacre of 77 people was "cruel but necessary" to fight multiculturalism and a "Muslim invasion" of Europe, praised Mangs during the first week of his own trial, and many commentators have drawn parallels between the two cases.

Story continues below…

The Malmö shooting spree also bore a chilling similarity to the case of a gunman who targeted immigrants in Stockholm in the early 1990s, dubbed "Laserman".

The Stockholm "Laserman", John Ausonius, shot 11 people of immigrant origin, killing one, between August 1991 and January 1992.

Ausonius, who got his nickname by initially using a rifle equipped with a laser, was jailed for life in 1994.

TT/AFP/The Local

Follow The Local on Twitter

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

17:57 May 14, 2012 by awash
no, he's a saint sent from heaven to save the world:-)
10:52 May 15, 2012 by hpunlimited
This guy is very similar to the guy in "The Taxi Driver" with Robert DeNiro. A guy that gets fed up with all the crime in his city and does something about it. If the Swedish police had more balls this would never have happened. We have to see this as a circumstance where the police has failed to protect the public and the citizens are forced to stand up to the criminals.
01:32 May 16, 2012 by TheWatchman

I do believe that the Swedish police are at best incompetent. However, I don't believe vigilante justice is necessarily acceptable because anyone can kill anyone in that scenario. If the courts give a Somali rapist 6 months for raping a 14 year old Swede, if someone were to give him a whoppin' or a lynching I'd have no problem with it, but it cannot play out like this. There has to be an awful crime committed for it to be closed to justified, not just random shooting of immigrants.
10:32 June 22, 2012 by michael ladochkin
I don't care if he is mad or not - Anders did what he had to do. He is right absolutely - it`s the only way to show wild immigrants who is the real master of the country
Today's headlines
Video: How to be Joel Kinnaman for a day
Kinnaman with one of the camera rigs that will allow people inside his head. Photo: Tele2

The Swedish Hollywood actor will strap a camera to his head, stream it live and allow viewers to interact with him this weekend.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
How Stockholm's cold climate boosts creativity
Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

Do long, dark winters actually make Swedes more creative and more productive? We spoke to Stockholm startups to find out.

Meet Sweden's lonely Donald Trump voter
A Donald Trump campaign button. Photo: Rogelio V Solis/AP

The Local talks to an American Donald Trump supporter on what it is like living in progressive stronghold Sweden.

Sweden to keep record-low interest rate in 2017
Sweden's landmark negative interest rate will continue towards 2018. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The Swedish central bank said that it will take longer than expected to reach its inflation target.

Presented by Stockholm University
9 unexpected programmes at Stockholm University
Photo: Niklas Björling

Did you know Stockholm University offers 75 master's programmes taught in English? And some of them are programmes you won't find anywhere else...

Creepy clown messes with the wrong dog walker in Sweden
Not the clown in the story. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A dog helped its owner fight off a creepy clown chasing the pair in southern Sweden.

A million Swedes are digitally excluded: report
How should Sweden bridge the digital divide? Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Tech-savvy Swedes? Perhaps not. A new study suggests that at least a million of its residents feel the pain of the digital divide.

Malmö's 19th Swedish title sets Champions hopes alight
Malmö fans celebrating after the match. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Malmö FF have their eyes set on the Champions League after winning the Swedish league for the 19th time.

What's on in Sweden
Five great autumn events in Sweden this week
Jazz in northern Sweden. Photo: Umeå Jazz Festival

Food, music, movies and more food. What better way of helping yourself forget that the days are getting shorter and colder?

Here's how slow Sweden's high-speed trains are getting
A Swedish SJX2000 high speed train. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The high-speed rail journey between the three biggest Swedish cities is about to get longer.

Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 26th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available