Malmö sniper suspect denies murder charges

On Tuesday the suspected serial killer Peter Mangs denied the court’s charges of the murder of 20-year-old Trez West Persson and the attempted murder of 22-year-old Xhafer Dani.

Malmö sniper suspect denies murder charges

“Was it you who shot?,” asked prosecutor Håkan Larsson about the October 2009 incident where West Persson was killed and Dani was injured for life.

“No,” Mangs answered.

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 lawyer has adamantly denied.

Mangs was later asked about his guns and his interest in weapons. According to him, this was a natural continuation of his general interest in technology.

“I wanted to take weapons apart, experiment with rebuilding them and so on,” he said, reported news agency TT.

However, Mangs was not willing to disclose how he went about buying the weapons he owned.

According to Sveriges Radio (SR), one of the most usual answers from Mangs during the questioning was “no comment”.

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 22-year-old Xhafer Dani 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.

The prosecutor Solveig Wollstad said on Tuesday that it was most likely by accident that Mangs met Dani and West Persson sitting in a car near a local church just after midnight in October 2009.

“He shoots and empties the whole magazine, and his adrenaline is pumping while he is doing this. Later he heads into town. He doesn’t stop, doesn’t look, just shoots into the car from two directions,” Wollstad continued.

The injured Dani tried to talk to West Persson but didn’t succeed. He panicked, got out of the car and ran. He then managed to alert some friends and then subsequently lost consciousness.

Police and emergency services soon reached the car where West Persson was lying injured.

“They take her to the hospital where they were able to keep her alive for a while but she later died the next day,” Wollstad said.

Dani has previously revealed a lot to police about the incident, but during Tuesday’s trial he said very little.

“My memory has taken a turn for the worse. And I was in shock at the time,” he said.

One of Dani’s councillors, Magnus Hermansson, explained to the court that Dani sustained life-threatening injuries in the attack, and that he will never recover completely.

West Persson’s mother said during the trial that the family is battling with an immense loss and sorrow that Trez have left behind.

“Our family is broken for ever,” she said and added that the murder has affected the whole family and circle of friends.

TT/Rebecca Martin

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Swedish sniper wanted to ignite ‘gang warfare’

Convicted Swedish sniper Peter Mangs came close to confessing to another two murders on Tuesday, commenting on the string of attacks he had denied in court but now says were meant to create tensions in Sweden's multicultural city.

Swedish sniper wanted to ignite 'gang warfare'

Mangs, who was jailed last year in Malmö, southern Sweden, told the regional Sydsvenskan newspaper on Tuesday that his goal with the series of shootings that terrorized the city was to incited gang warfare. On Monday, he confirmed that he had killed 20-year-old Trez West Persson.

The interview also contained quotes that came close to a confession to two further murders, after telling the paper’s reporter on Monday that he had shot Persson and seriously injured her companion, in a parked car in Malmö.

Her companion, Mangs’ intended target, survived and gave evidence at the trial in Malmö. His short hair revealed a long scar snaking across his skull, the physical reminder of the attack which he told court had altered his life for ever.

Mangs told the paper that the man did not look “like a criminal”, rather that the circumstances pointed to him being a lawbreaker, and that this was enough for the serial killer to feel the need to strike.

“It was a hunt! When the right opportunity presented itself, one that filled all the right criteria, then the idea was to do it,” he said.

On Tuesday, Mangs continued his saga by telling Sydsvenskan that he had engaged in target practice across the entire city at least a hundred times.

Mangs was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for two murders and five attempted murders. In April, he was convicted of another three attempted murders by the Malmö appeals court (hovrätten). The Supreme Court denied his lawyers a chance to appeal.

Mangs was also charged with killing two men aged 23 and 66, in 2003, as well as the 20-year-old Swedish woman in 2009.

As many of his victims had immigrant backgrounds, the attacks spread fear in Sweden’s most multicultural city before Mangs was apprehended by the police. Swedish police grappled with his motives, as Mangs had no clear cut ideological profile, but has spoken about his disdain for criminals.

He was also charged with a slew of 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.

The Swedish prosecutor who headed the case against him, Solveig Wollstad, said on Monday that the confession may help Persson’s family.

TT/The Local/at

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