23-year-old charged for shooting axe victim

A 23-year-old man has been charged with the murder of 51-year-old Esa Rano, known in Sweden for surviving a vicious axe attack in a village feud in 2008.

Prosecutor Åke Hansson said that the 23-year-old is suspected of having shot Rano in the head near his house outside of Haparanda, in northern Sweden, in April this year, reports local paper Norrbottesnskuriren.

Rano had played an instrumental part in a violent neighbour feud that had raged in the village of Vojakkala for over twenty years.

In May 2008, he was attacked in the yard outside of his house and sustained serious injuries after receiving axe blows to the neck and face.

Miraculously he survived, although had to go through several operations. Two members of the neighbouring family were found guilty of the deed and sentenced to six years in prison. Their sentences were later increased and several other family members were found to be involved in the incident, according to daily Aftonbladet.

After recuperating, Rano was given a protected identity and moved to another small village, Kärrbäck, in Norrbotten County.

When Rano was found dead in his bed in April, police at first did not suspect any foul play. But the subsequent autopsy uncovered that the cause of death was a bullet in the back of the victim’s head.

According to Norrbottenskuriren, Rano had jewellery and cash in the house amounting to several hundred thousands of kronor when he was killed.

Two men were arrested in May after they had attempted to get some jewellery valued in a specialist store in Haparanda. The staff thought something was not right and alerted the police.

After a raid on a private property belonging to one of the men, who turned out to be an acquaintance of Rano’s, officers discovered what is believed to be the murder weapon. The other man was released shortly after the find.

Charges against the suspected 23-year-old were filed on Friday and the body of evidence against the man include jewellery found in his possession, images from his mobile phone and the transcript of a bugged call between the suspect and another man, according to the paper.

13 witnesses will also be heard in the trial which will be held at the Luleå District Court.

The Local/rm

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