Suspect re-arrested in axe victim murder trial

The 23-year-old man acquitted by a Luleå court last week of the murder of a 51-year-old Haparanda man in April, has been re-arrested by police.

“Of course we are opposed to him being brought back into custody, but we will now concentrate on the remand hearing which will take place within four days,” said the man’s lawyer Lars Grönberg to local paper Norrbottenskuriren.

The arrest occurred after the appeals court had received the official appeal against the acquittal from the prosecutor.

The 51-year-old victim, Esa Rano, was found dead in his home in a small village outside of Haparanda, far northern Sweden.

The court wrote in their judgment last week that it was “highly likely” that it was the 23-year-old who shot Rano, but the court lacked forensic evidence linking the acquitted man to the murder weapon or to the plastic bottle that was used as a silencer.

Rano’s death resulted in great public attention as he had previously been involved in a violent feud that had raged in the village of Vojakkala for over twenty years and survived an 2008 attack where he sustained serious injuries after receiving axe blows to the neck and face.

His death in April this year, however, was caused by a shot to the head.

The trial, which was held at the Luleå District Court in northern Sweden, had also been disrupted by several incidents related to the investigation.

A bomb threat interrupted proceedings for one day in late August and a key witness became a suspect before being freed soon thereafter.

The 23-year-old suspect was re-arrested by police on Wednesday evening and is being held pending a formal remand hearing.

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