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No trace of Facebook video showing alleged rape

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No trace of Facebook video showing alleged rape
Uppsala police press spokesperson Lisa Sannervik and prosecutor Magnus Berggren at a press conference on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT
12:15 CET+01:00
Prosecutors have yet to obtain full video footage of the alleged rape of a woman in the university town of Uppsala – and believe it is possible the sequence does not exist.

Police and prosecutors have appealed to anyone in possession of a Facebook Live video reportedly showing three men raping a woman in an apartment to hand it in to authorities. But so far, nobody has.

"As long as we do not have the film we cannot say with certainty that it exists," Pontus Melander, the prosecutor leading the probe, told the Aftonbladet tabloid on Tuesday.

"Don't you think that both you and I would have received the film if it existed?"

Uppsala's deputy chief prosecutor Magnus Berggren confirmed to The Local: "We do not have access to the film. That could mean it does not exist. We can however not say anything for sure."

He told a press conference on Monday that police and prosecutors had managed to obtain certain still images and footage, but not the sequence allegedly depicting the rape itself.

Several witnesses described seeing an almost unconscious victim having her clothes torn off in the video and Berggren said they were continuing to question them and collect as much other material as possible.

"In order to get as clear a picture as possible we are questioning people who have at least seen parts of the live streaming on Facebook," he told The Local.

"A film would of course have been central evidence, but there is also other evidence."

Investigators have been in touch with Facebook to see if it would be possible to retrieved a stored version of the film. However, their efforts have so far proven fruitless.

The men arrested on suspicion of raping the woman were born in 1992, 1996, and 1998, making them younger than their victim, born in 1986.

One of them is arrested on "probable cause", the stronger degree of suspicion according to Swedish law, and the other two on a lower degree of suspicion. No other details about the men have been released.

Prosecutors have until noon on Wednesday to decide whether or not to ask the district court to have the suspects remanded in custody pending the investigation, or let them walk free.

Berggren said a decision would not be made until tomorrow.

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