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CRIME

Teen suspected of murdering homeless German in Sweden

A 17-year-old boy is in police custody on suspicion of killing a homeless man in southern Sweden.

Teen suspected of murdering homeless German in Sweden
Police at the scene in Hässleholm. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The man, who has been identified as a German national in his fifties with no fixed abode, was found dead near the train station in Hässleholm on Tuesday evening.

“Our understanding is that he has been living as homeless in Sweden, but we have no knowledge about what it was like in his home country,” police spokesperson Robert Loeffel told Swedish news agency TT.

A 17-year-old teenager was later arrested and was on Sunday formally remanded in custody on murder suspicions.

“He denies any criminal offence. I can't elaborate on what he has said,” prosecutor Malin Pålsson told TT.

The victim is understood to have been subjected to severe violence, but investigators have declined to comment on his injuries during the ongoing forensic probe.

“The investigation is still in the early stages and it is important that we continue to get information from various people without them being affected by what's written about the case,” said Pålsson.

CRIME

Swedish court clears former Swedbank CEO of fraud charges

Birgitte Bonnesen, a former CEO of Swedish bank Swedbank, has been acquitted of charges of fraud and sharing insider information.

Swedish court clears former Swedbank CEO of fraud charges

The ruling from the Stockholm District Court comes four years after the eruption of a money laundering scandal implicating the bank.

In 2019, Swedish public service broadcaster SVT alleged that at least 40 billion kronor (equivalent at the time to $4.4 billion) of suspicious and high-risk transactions had been channelled to Baltic countries, notably Estonia, from Swedbank accounts.

The revelations, which saw the bank’s share price crumble, rendered Bonnesen’s position untenable and she was fired.

Sweden’s financial regulator the following year fined the bank some 360 million euros and warned it to follow anti-money laundering laws.

Prosecutors later charged Bonnesen, accusing her of “intentionally or by aggravated negligence” providing false or misleading information about the steps the bank had taken to prevent and detect suspected money laundering.

Bonnesen, who risked two years in prison, denied all of the charges against her.

The court said that while some of the statements the former CEO made to media outlets had been “unclear and incomplete”, they did not amount to fraud.

“For criminal liability, it is not enough for someone to make a false statement or omit key information,” judge Malou Lindblom said, adding that any statement needed to be sufficient to influence recipients “in a certain direction”.

Bonnesen was also cleared of charges of revealing insider information by informing the bank’s main owners that the investigative documentary was coming.

The court said the former CEO had only revealed what she believed the documentary would cover, which was deemed too “imprecise” to be considered insider information.

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