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.

Why Swedish 'summer cottage murder' woman will likely spend life in prison: legal expert
Johanna Möller in court. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

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.

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about the Swedish murder case that's stranger than fiction

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.


Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime