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Swedish man sues in 'elk murder mystery'

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Swedish man sues in 'elk murder mystery'
Photo: Becky Bohrer/TT
10:09 CEST+02:00
A man from southern Sweden, who was accused of murdering his wife, is suing for damages after it was established that she was in fact killed by an elk.

The man, a resident of Loftahammer in southern Sweden, is now demanding tens of thousands of kronor in compensation for being falsely accused of murder.

His lawyers are critical of the way in which prosecutors and the police handled the investigation after his 63-year-old wife was found gravely injured near the shore of a lake outside of Loftahammar in northeast Småland in September 2008.

According to the man, investigators were too quick to assume that he had killed his wife.

For months he laboured under the suspicion that he had murdered his wife, and he was also detained for ten days. Then it turned out that his wife was in fact killed by an elk.

When the woman was found dead on a forest path, the police immediately suspected her husband, and arrested him on suspicion of murder, just hours after she was found. After ten days in detention, he was released, but the suspicions against him remained.

It would take several months before police identified the real culprit after hairs found on the woman's body were finally identified as coming from an elk. Police then realized the woman had been kicked to death by the animal.

The man says that because of the false accusation, he was viewed as a killer by his neighbours where he lived and had to move away.

Now he is asking for damages totalling 621,000 kronor - 300,000 kronor in compensation for suffering and 321,000 kronor in compensation for lost income.

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