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Two locked up for life over restaurant shooting

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Two locked up for life over restaurant shooting
A CCTV image from the bar in Biskopsgården. Photo: Polisen/TT
11:28 CEST+02:00
Two men involved in one of the most high-profile shootings in Sweden in recent years have been sentenced to life in jail.

Two people died and eight were injured in the shooting at a restaurant at the Vårväderstorget square in the Biskopsgården area of Gothenburg in the evening of March 18th last year.

Customers had gathered at the pub called 'Vår Krog Och Bar' to watch a Champions League game when masked gunmen burst in at around 10.20pm firing automatic weapons.

"It was a pure massacre," prosecutor Johan Udén told the court on the final day of the two-month trial.

Five men had been charged with murder, but only 28-year-old Adam Abdulahi and 25-year-old Ahmed Warsame were handed a lifetime sentence at Gothenburg District Court on Monday morning.

The other three were sentenced to 14 years in jail in accordance with Swedish law, because they were under the age of 21 at the time, reported the Expressen tabloid.

Another three, aged 19-22, were found guilty of aiding and abetting. One was sentenced to 14 years in prison, another to ten years and the third to seven years. All eight have consistently denied the charges.

A point of contention during the long and complicated trial had been that the prosecutors struggled to determine who of the accused was responsible for what during the shooting, which is believed to have been linked to a gang conflict.

"There are five different roles: two who shot, one who kept guard, one in the car and one who was in another car in the area," prosecutor Ulrika Åberg said before the trial got under way.

A statement from the court read that it had not been able to "say who of the defendants has had which role" but that it "judged that they have all had such knowledge and involvement that they are perpetrators".

It is understood that lawyers defending the accused will likely attempt to appeal the verdict.

The shooting was one of the most high-profile in Sweden in recent years, prompting a visit by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and sparking debate about gang-related violence in Sweden's second-biggest city. Another seven people were killed in separate shootings in Gothenburg last year and 27 were injured.

Amir Rostami, a leading authority on Sweden's organized crime groups, who is based at Stockholm University, told The Local at the time that organized crime remained a persistent problem.

"Today, the gang environment is… I don't want to exactly call it the Wild West, but something in that direction," he said.

"Some years ago, it used to be very strong groups controlling the criminal world, but today we've got more and a lot smaller groups fighting for control of their areas – and that has increased the number of conflicts we see between groups and individuals."

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