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CRIME

Man held for 1996 Stockholm murder

A 39-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a 25-year-old student outside a Stockholm riding school in 1996.

Man held for 1996 Stockholm murder
Swartlings riding school in Stockholm. Photo: Ingvar Karmhed/TT

When the murder was committed the suspect was a 22-year-old economics student, according to a report in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) daily.

The charges come as a result of a breakthrough by the Stockholm police cold case unit which is tasked with investigating unsolved murders.

The slaying occurred on October 14th 1996 outside Swartlings riding school on Valhallavägen in the Östermalm area of central Stockholm.

"Yes, yes, there is a stabbed man at… Valhallavägen I think it is called," a man said to the SOS alarm service on the night in question according to DN's report.

The man who had reported the crime had disappeared by the time police arrived to find the dead man. 

The cold case unit, which works on 2-3 cases at a time, began to explore the possibility that the man who had made the call could have been the same person who had carried out the offence. While this line of inquiry led to the arrest of the 39-year-old man on Thursday, police were unwilling to confirm if they believe it to be the same person.

No description has been released of the man and police declined to confirm whether there is any resemblance.

The 39-year-old has been held on probable cause – the highest level of suspicion employed by the Swedish police in murder investigations.

The prosecutor has until Sunday to decide whether to request the man be remanded into custody.

The man is yet to respond to the suspicions, the newspaper reported.

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POLITICS

Swedish party leader calls for chemical castration of sex offenders

Sweden's Christian Democrats have called for tougher sentences for sex offenders and making release conditional on chemical castration.

Swedish party leader calls for chemical castration of sex offenders

The Swedish Christian Democrats (KD) leader has called for the chemical castration of certain sex offenders as part of plans for a tougher grip on sexual crime and punishment in Sweden.

Speaking to the Swedish parliament on July 1st, KD party leader Ebba Busch said, “Every day, 27 rapes are reported. How many days must pass before the government takes action?”

“Today we propose that rapists and people who commit sexual crimes against children should be able to be chemically castrated.”

The controversial chemical castration proposal was the headline grabbing soundbite in a broader set of proposals to recalibrate the structure of Sweden’s sexual crime sentencing.

Among KD’s proposed sentencing changes is a life sentence for the aggravated rape of a child, the removal of automatic conditional release for sex offenders, and an increase in the sentence for aggravated rape up to a maximum of 25 years.

In addition, they want a “monitoring period” for convicts who have been released, equivalent to one third of the sentence served.

They also want to establish a national knowledge centre for sexual violence where people who feel that they have “problematic sexuality” can receive support. The center must also “be able to administer chemical castration on a voluntary basis to those who are concerned about unwanted sexual thoughts and impulses and have a compulsive sexuality”.

READ ALSO: What’s the Swedish Christian Democrats’ abortion contract all about?

Chemical castration, she suggested, should be implemented as a condition of release for some sexual offenders. “It may mean that if a person like Nytorgsmannen is to be able to become a free man, a chemical castration must have taken place before the release,” Busch said, referring to Andreas Holm, a man sentenced in 2021 for 35 different crimes including 24 rapes.

But this is not the first time the Christian Democrats have toyed with the idea of chemical castration as a form of legal punishment. As far back as 20 years ago, under former leader Alf Svensson, the right-wing party raised the idea of conditional chemical castration of rapists and pedophiles.

At the time the proposal was rejected by all other parties.

Chemical castration, the process of preventing sex hormone production through chemicals, can reduce sexual libido but the effects on those with deviant behaviours are relatively unknown.

Chemical castration can also prove costly as it is not a one-off treatment but rather requires regular interventions, which means the police would be reliant on those sentences to chemical castration making regular trips to the authorities for further treatment.

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