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Swedish summer cottage murder trial: the sentence

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Swedish summer cottage murder trial: the sentence
Johanna Möller and Mohammad Rajabi in court. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
12:10 CEST+02:00
A Swedish district court has locked a woman up for life and sentenced her ex-boyfriend to 14 years in jail in connection with one of the strangest murder cases in the Nordic country.

Västmanland District Court sentenced Johanna Möller, 42, to life in prison on Monday for murdering her father, attempting to murder her mother, and instigating the suspected murder of her ex-husband.

Her younger ex-boyfriend, Mohammad Rajabi, was sentenced to 14 years in prison over the murder and attempted murder of Möller's parents.

The pair 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.

Other charges of which the district court also found Möller guilty include: instigating aggravated assault, gross fraud, attempted gross fraud, falsification of documents, bribery, and threatening a public servant, according to the verdict seen by The Local.

The fraud charge relates to her attempts to take out money from a life insurance policy less than a month after her former husband died in 2015. She also tried to bribe a prison officer to allow her to post a letter without it first being examined. In police questioning meanwhile, she threatened interviewers with assault.


The summer house near Arboga. Photo: TT

Möller's ex-boyfriend Rajabi (they broke up before the trial started), a man from Afghanistan who came to Sweden as a lone refugee from Iran in autumn 2015, had already admitted the murder and attempted murder of her parents, saying Möller gave him the knife.

Rajabi's age had been a point of contention during the trial, as a person aged under 21 cannot be sentenced to life in prison in Sweden. Swedish medical experts were unable to confirm if he was younger than 21, but documents from Iranian authorities eventually showed he was 20 at the time of the murder.

The court also handed him a deportation order, banning him from returning to Sweden.

Möller denied all allegations throughout the trial, but the court based its verdict on several factors, including telephone logs, text messages, letters and witness statements including from her mother and children. The court said it had found no reason to doubt Rajabi's version of events regarding the attack on Möller's parents.

"Möller's involvement was so great and so decisive that she should, like Mohammad Rajabi, be considered a perpetrator and not an instigator or complicit," read the verdict.

The investigation into the death of Möller's ex-husband, which involves some of her relatives, continues. It has not been established how, or where, his alleged murder was committed, but the court said it was impossible to believe it was an accident or suicide.

Möller's lawyer said they would appeal the sentence. Rajabi's lawyer said he did not yet know whether or not his client wanted to appeal, but said he would defend him again if so.

"She (Möller) is the brain behind the whole thing, he has not planned anything," his lawyer Lars Jähresten told Swedish news agency TT.

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