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Prosecutor wants asylum stabber convicted of murder

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Prosecutor wants asylum stabber convicted of murder
Prosecutor Linda Wiking. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT
13:45 CEST+02:00
The prosecutor is pushing for a murder conviction for a man who was found guilty of aggravated manslaughter after stabbing a worker to death at a home for young refugees in Sweden.

Alexandra Mezher, 22, was fatally stabbed while working alone at the accommodation centre in Mölndal, western Sweden, last January. When police arrived at the scene she had multiple knife wounds in her back and a fatal wound to the thigh which caused her to bleed out.

The perpetrator was found guilty of aggravated manslaughter and was sentenced to psychiatric care in a facility for offenders earlier this month, with a special review required for his discharge. If discharged the court also ordered that he be deported and banned from returning to Sweden until 2026.

The prosecutor appealed the sentence on Friday, arguing that the attack on Mezher should be classed as murder and the man handed a lifetime deportation order.

“My conviction is that the district court has been very cautious in its assessment when it does not believe there's enough to support a murder conviction,” Linda Wiking said after the verdict was read out in Gothenburg District Court on August 8th.

The man's age was a major point of contention during the high-profile trial. Initial reports claimed he was 15 years old, but the district court based its decision to deport him for ten years on him being at least 18 at the time of the stabbing.

However, the prosecutor wants the appeals court to take into account a medical examination she ordered during the investigation which found that he was aged over 21 years.

She is also appealing for him to be convicted of attempted murder rather than attempted manslaughter of another resident at the asylum centre, who had tried to restrain him.

Mezher's family's legal counsel has also appealed the district court verdict, arguing that the accused should pay out more than the 300,000 kronor ($34,970) ordered in damages.

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