Stockholm cop denies manslaughter charges

The police officer suspected of manslaughter after fatally shooting a 69-year-old man in Husby has denied the charges, claiming he had the right to use his weapon in self-defence.

Stockholm cop denies manslaughter charges

The shooting incident on May 13th has been widely cited as the spark that ignited the unrest in Stockholm suburbs in which rioters torched over 150 cars and dozens of buildings.

“He has given a detailed explanation of what happened in that apartment and denies committing any crime,” the police officer’s lawyer, Johan Eriksson, told Sveriges Radio (SR).

The 69-year-old man was shot and killed in his apartment in the west Stockholm suburb of Husby. Police were called to the address after local residents reportedly said they felt threatened by the man, who was holding what some said appeared to be a machete.

The man’s wife was also in the apartment when the police stormed it an effort to get him out. According to the police, they first tried to subdue the man with a flash grenade, which proved unsuccessful. One officer then opened fire, fatally shooting him.

On Tuesday, the Finnish Swedish-language newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet (HBL) reported that the victim, reportedly a Portuguese man married to a Finnish woman, may have been wielding a puukko knife, a traditional hunting knife, and not a machete.

The wife’s brother Risto Kajanto, who lives in Finland, told the newspaper that he was shocked to hear his brother-in-law had been shot by police in Stockholm.

“I didn’t believe that it could be true, I only believed it once I’d read about it in the paper,” he told HBL.

The police officer, who is in his thirties and joined the police force in 2008, was questioned for the first time on Wednesday. He admitted to shooting the 69-year-old but said it was not an unlawful act as he was being attacked.

“Whether it was the right thing to do in this situation is something that the lawyers will have to consider,” said Eriksson.

The prosecutor, who has also questioned other witnesses, would not comment on the investigation, according to SR.

Eriksson did not want to go into any detail either but said that some of the media reports about the incident have been incorrect.

“I have read newspapers and listened to radio and watched TV and one can conclude that there is a description out there of the sequence of events which is incorrect,” he said.

“For instance, when it comes to how many shots were fired inside that apartment. I believe I have heard one report which said that 15 shots were fired in that apartment and that is not true. It has not happened,” said Eriksson.

Eriksson said the suspect and his family are going through a rough time. The police officer received protected personal data during the riots, which started on May 19th but have since quieted down.

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Recipe: How to make a Sweden-inspired colourful couscous salad

Couscous, fruit and beetroot combine in this colourful salad from Swedish food writer John Duxbury.

Recipe: How to make a Sweden-inspired colourful couscous salad
Fruity couscous salad with beetroot. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Swedes are great lovers of salads and make a considerable use of beetroot (beets) as they grow well in Sweden. In recent years they have also started to use couscous a lot, something that goes well with beetroot, and which now often features in Swedish salads.

Another feature about Swedish salads is that they often use fruit, sometimes just for added colour, but here the figs are a key ingredient.


Serves 8

Preparation: 10 Minutes

Cooking: 40 Minutes

Based on a recipe published by ICA in Sweden


•  Use pearl couscous if you can as it looks better and adds a bit of bite to the salad. Pearl couscous is sometimes referred to as jumbo couscous, Israeli couscous, mougrabieh, fregola or giant couscous, depending on where you live.

•  I have increased the amount of salad from 70 g to 150 g and the quantity of raisins from 30 g to 75 g, but you may prefer the original quantities.


600 g (1 1/4 lb) beetroot (beets)

200 g (1 1/4 cups) couscous

1 small red onion

3 fresh figs

75 g (1/2 cup) raisins

150 g (5 oz) mixed salad leaves


3 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, preferably white

1 tsp salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Trim most of the stalk from the beetroot, scrub, put them in a pan, cover with water, add some salt and bring to boil. Simmer until tender, which can take anything from 10 to 50 minutes depending on their size. When cool, peel and cut into small wedge.

2. Meanwhile cook the couscous according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and loosen with a fork if it is too sticky.

3. Peel the onion and slice thinly.

4. Halve the figs and slice thinly.

5. Mix all the ingredients in a large dish, keeping back some couscous, fig slices and raisins.

6. Whisk the ingredients for the dressing together. Pour over the salad and toss.

7. Garnish with the remaining couscous, fig slices and raisins.

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, founder and editor of Swedish Food