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CRIME

Acquitted man admits to killing after 12 years

After 12 years, a 34-year-old man has confessed to killing a 51-year-old father of four in Skövde in central Sweden in 2000, telling police he needed to clear his conscience.

The suspect, who was 22 at the time of the killing, walked into a police station in Stockholm last month and admitted to the murder of 51-year-old Nabhan Beyondoun, the TV4 affiliate in Skaraborg reported.

According to TV4, the man confessed because “the heavy burden of having killed a person”.

The now 34-year-old man had previously been charged with the Beyondoun’s killing, but was ultimately acquitted by the Supreme Court (Högsta domstolen) in 2003, in part because the victim’s body was never found.

Some of the Beyondoun’s remains were eventually recovered in a drainage well in 2006 when construction workers cleaned the ditch in connection with a road improvement project.

However, the evidence wasn’t enough to warrant a retrial.

One of the 51-year-old’s sons expressed his frustration over the fact that his father’s killing remained unsolved for more than a decade.

“I’m thoroughly and deeply disappointed in the Swedish legal system. My father was lying there, in a drainage well, and police were there with their cars several times. What were they thinking? That he’d be lying up on a field,” the son told the Expressen newspaper.

The father of four disappeared in May 2000, having been last seen in Skövde in a white car with the then 22-year-old man who has now admitted to the killing.

“I really hope they figure out what happened to my father. He was the best father,” the victim’s son told Expressen.

Prosecutors believe the confession is enough to warrant a retrial in the Supreme Court and last week filed a motion asking the court to hear the case once again.

TT/The Local/dl

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CRIME

Swedish court clears former Swedbank CEO of fraud charges

Birgitte Bonnesen, a former CEO of Swedish bank Swedbank, has been acquitted of charges of fraud and sharing insider information.

Swedish court clears former Swedbank CEO of fraud charges

The ruling from the Stockholm District Court comes four years after the eruption of a money laundering scandal implicating the bank.

In 2019, Swedish public service broadcaster SVT alleged that at least 40 billion kronor (equivalent at the time to $4.4 billion) of suspicious and high-risk transactions had been channelled to Baltic countries, notably Estonia, from Swedbank accounts.

The revelations, which saw the bank’s share price crumble, rendered Bonnesen’s position untenable and she was fired.

Sweden’s financial regulator the following year fined the bank some 360 million euros and warned it to follow anti-money laundering laws.

Prosecutors later charged Bonnesen, accusing her of “intentionally or by aggravated negligence” providing false or misleading information about the steps the bank had taken to prevent and detect suspected money laundering.

Bonnesen, who risked two years in prison, denied all of the charges against her.

The court said that while some of the statements the former CEO made to media outlets had been “unclear and incomplete”, they did not amount to fraud.

“For criminal liability, it is not enough for someone to make a false statement or omit key information,” judge Malou Lindblom said, adding that any statement needed to be sufficient to influence recipients “in a certain direction”.

Bonnesen was also cleared of charges of revealing insider information by informing the bank’s main owners that the investigative documentary was coming.

The court said the former CEO had only revealed what she believed the documentary would cover, which was deemed too “imprecise” to be considered insider information.

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