Swedish dad found guilty of murdering daughter

A Swedish man who murdered his nine-year-old daughter and injured her mother at their home in Bålsta north-west of Stockholm in July has been sentenced to psychiatric care.

Swedish dad found guilty of murdering daughter
Flowers left outside the Bålsta home in July. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Police and emergency services found the girl and her mother seriously injured when they were called to the house in Bålsta, in Håbo municipality, on the afternoon of July 9th.

They were both taken to Uppsala University Hospital, but the nine-year-old bled to death from stab wounds in her head and chest before doctors were able to save her life.

Her father, the 47-year-old director of a successful IT company, was found guilty of attacking the pair on Monday, after the high-profile trial concluded at Uppsala District Court.

A psychiatric examination had earlier found that he suffered from a serious mental disorder at the time and could therefore not be sentenced to prison.

But the man's lawyer, Thomas Martinsson, had advocated for the court to hand out a not-guilty verdict, saying the man had not intended to kill the nine-year-old.

“My client had the notion that the girl would be saved for eternal life, he was in a psychosis and believed he was in close relation to God and acted with 'positive intent'. It is pedagogically difficult to explain, but he did not act with intent to kill in a criminal sense, and it's important to get the [legal terms] right,” Martinsson told regional newspaper UNT.

The trial sparked debate about psychiatric care in Sweden after it emerged that the man had sought psychological help at Uppsala University Hospital just hours before the attack.

The shocking incident also stirred emotions in the quiet town of Bålsta and flowers were left outside the family home after the girl's death.

Bålsta, in Uppsala County, north-east of Stockholm, is situated near Lake Mälaren. It has just over 14,000 residents.


Swedish court to hear young people’s climate lawsuit against the state

Three hundred young people including activist Greta Thunberg will get to make their case after a Swedish court agreed to hear their lawsuit accusing the state of climate inaction.

Swedish court to hear young people's climate lawsuit against the state

The lawsuit, the first of its kind in the Scandinavian country, was originally filed in November 2022 by the organisation Aurora.

It argued the state “needs to do its fair share of the global work to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels”.

In its lawsuit, the group demanded the state take action to limit climate-heating greenhouse gas emissions and examine just how far it could reduce them within the limits of what is “technically and economically feasible in Sweden”.

The Nacka district court said it had given the state three months to respond to the lawsuit and that, depending on the parties’ pleas and positions, the case could either be taken to trial or handled through written procedure.

“At present, the district court cannot give a forecast as to when the case may be finalised or when it may be necessary to hold hearings in the case,” it said.

Climate activist Thunberg, who was one of the original signatories of the lawsuit, on Monday denounced an “unprecedented betrayal” from those in power after the United Nations’ climate panel warned the world was set to cross the key 1.5-degree global warming limit in about a decade.

She accuses them of living in “denial”.

In recent years, a growing number of organisations and citizens have turned to the courts to criticise what they say is government inaction on the climate.

In December 2019, the Dutch supreme court ordered the government to slash greenhouse gases by at least 25 percent by 2020, in a landmark case brought by an environmental group.

In a similar case in France, more than two million citizens took the French state to court for failing to act against climate change.