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Man facing trial over refugee worker's 'murder'

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Man facing trial over refugee worker's 'murder'
The man during a preliminary court hearing earlier this year. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT
16:55 CEST+02:00
A man accused of killing a worker at a home for young refugees earlier this year has been charged with her murder.

Alexandra Mezher, 22, was stabbed to death at the asylum accommodation in Mölndal near Gothenburg in January. Her killing captured global headlines and stoked tension in Sweden.

A young refugee, whose exact age has not been established, is now facing trial later this month. He was arrested by police arriving at the scene shortly after the fatal knife attack on the 22-year-old woman.

The man is also accused of attempted murder, after allegedly also attacking another resident at the home after he tried to restrain him. The other resident however survived without serious injuries.

According to the charge sheet the man was suicidal at the time. Staff at the centre had alerted social services the previous day after it was discovered he had hurt himself with a knife in his room.

Another asylum seeker living at the centre told police that the accused had said immediately after the attack on Mezher: “I wanted to kill myself, why did she have to take the knife away from me?”.

Mezher was stabbed three times before she managed to flee into a separate room. According to the prosecutor the fatal wound came not when she was stabbed in the back or her hand, but when the 14-centimetre long knife cut through major blood veins and arteries in her thigh.

“It's a knife that belongs to the home. I don't know if he [the accused] got hold of it the same morning or if he kept it in his room,” prosecutor Linda Wiking told regional newspaper Göteborgs-Posten.

She was taken to hospital but later died from her injuries.


Prime Minister Stefan Löfven visiting Mölndal after the incident. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

It is unclear exactly how old the man is. He has given his age as 15, but Sweden's Migration Agency has previously stated that it believes he is at least 18. According to Swedish law, if the district court convicts him and finds him to be aged 18 or older he will be sentenced as an adult.

He has neither admitted nor denied the charges, according to his lawyer Claes Kennedy.

"He has spoken about as much as he remembers," he told Göteborgs-Posten.

The trial is set to start on May 30th.

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