Why Swedish 'summer cottage murder' woman will likely spend life in prison: legal expert

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Why Swedish 'summer cottage murder' woman will likely spend life in prison: legal expert

A woman accused of killing her father with the help of her boyfriend and instigating the murder of her ex-husband did not have a serious mental disorder, according to a psychiatric examination.


Västmanland District Court said last month that 42-year-old Johanna Möller and her ex-boyfriend Mohammad Rajabi are likely to be convicted of murder and attempted murder, as well as instigation of murder for the former, but ordered the pair to undergo a psychiatric evaluation before pronouncing a verdict.

Experts have now concluded that neither of the accused committed the acts under the influence of a serious psychiatric disorder, which means the court is able to sentence them to jail rather than psychiatric care.

The court is expected to convene on August 7th when the prosecutor will put forward her final case, and the verdict and sentence are then expected to be pronounced around a fortnight later.

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The summer house in Arboga. Photo: TT

Möller is likely to be sentenced to jail, commented legal expert Sven-Erik Alhem.

"If the district court finds her guilty on all counts, which it looks like it will, there's more than one murder, first of all. There's also the attempted murder which she has been part of. It is my personal view that that can't lead to anything other than a life sentence," he told TT.

Rajabi's sentence is not as clear-cut, Alhem told the news agency.

"There is a possibility that he has been affected by her. He is also young. It is harder to judge but I would imagine it would be a fixed-term sentence," he said.

Möller and Rajabi have both been remanded in custody since last September over what has been called the "summer cottage murders" in Swedish media. The name comes from the scene where the crimes took place, a summer house in Arboga, central Sweden.

It was there in August 2016 that Möller's father was killed in a stabbing, while her mother was seriously injured. Her former husband, meanwhile, was found drowned near the same cottage a year before – a drowning which was treated as an accident at the time.

Västmanland District Court has not formally convicted the pair, but has said Möller is guilty of murdering her father, attempting to murder her mother and instigating the murder of her husband. It also considers Rajabi, who has already confessed to the crimes against the parents, guilty of murder and attempted murder.

Möller insists she is innocent. In July she sent a letter to Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, writing that her mother, sister and eldest daughter had "stabbed her in the back" during the trial. Her daughter told the trial among other things that Möller had asked her to help kill her husband with a baseball bat.

The 42-year-old is also accused of a series of additional crimes, including a fraud charge and allegations she attempted to bribe a prison office and threatened public servants.


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