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CRIME

Man didn’t kill friend but did dump body: court

A 28-year-old man sentenced to 12 years in prison in April for murdering his best friend has had his conviction overturned on appeal, but was nevertheless found guilty of having thrown the victim's body in a sewer.

In April, the man was convicted of murder and sentenced to 12 years in prison by the Blekinge District Court for killing his best friend and dumping the body in a sewer.

On Monday, however, the man was acquitted of the murder charge by a Malmö appeals court.

However, the court nevertheless found him guilty of disturbing the peace of the dead and sentenced him to 18 months in prison.

“The reasoning behind the verdict of disturbing the peace of the dead is because he is said to have transported the body in his car, among other things, but there were no traces of this,” said Christer Holmqvist, the man’s lawyer, to the TT news agency.

After the victim’s death in August last year, there seemed to be an overwhelming amount of evidence against the 28-year-old.

He confessed to the murder in letters to his family, had kept personal notes of the killing, and had even searched the internet for murder penalties.

During his district court trial, however, the man retracted his confession.

According to the man’s lawyer, there was “a lack of evidence” in the case, an assessment shared by the appeals court, which duly overturned the murder conviction.

The court found that the 28-year-old’s description of the killing was “patently weak and lacking in detail”. There was no other evidence implicating the 28-year-old in the killing, aside from a letter to his parents explaining that he had taken someone’s life.

However, the court found the 28-year-old description of how he moved the dead body to be detailed and substantial and that, combined with the other circumstances lead it to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the 28-year-old had moved the body of his dead 23-year-old friend.

Despite the drastic reduction in prison time, the 28-year-old was nevertheless disappointed with the ruling, having expected to be freed of all charges.

“He has a truly special personality,” said Holmqvist.

“He is easily influenced. It is also clear from the psychiatric exam that he is easily influenced when he feels pressured. This may be, in other words, an explanation as to why he confessed to being guilty.”

TT/The Local/og

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ALMEDALEN 2022

Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden. 

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