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Swedish prosecutors to make announcement over death of homeless Romanian

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Swedish prosecutors to make announcement over death of homeless Romanian
The park where the man's body was found. File photo: Adam Ihse/TT
14:26 CET+01:00
An announcement is expected from police prosecutors on Monday in a case involving the suspected murder of a Romanian man earlier this year.

Two teenagers are under suspicion in the case, which has received considerable public attention in Sweden.

The 48-year-old man, locally known as 'Gica' although his real name was Gheorge Hortolomei-Lupu, was found dead in a park in Huskvarna, near Jönköping, on August 8th.

After the investigation into his death was reclassified as a murder case two weeks later, police turned their attention to a youth gang which had been harassing the man for some time.

Two boys aged 16 and 14 years have since been identified as suspects in the case, with the former having been held in custody for several weeks. Both are encompassed by provisions relating to care of minors.

At Monday's press meeting, prosecutor Linda Schön is expected to confirm a decision regarding a potential murder trial.

Anders Tolke, lawyer for the 16-year-old, said he would not speculate on announcements to be made Monday.

"I have no comments at this time as we are waiting for the prosecutor's decision on the question of the charge," Tolke said.

Special provisions apply in Swedish law for suspects under the age of 18, with trials against people between the ages of 15 and 17 years required to proceed promptly.

While 16-year-olds can be tried in court, further special legislation applies to suspects under the age of 15. According to a prosecution service press statement, "either the investigation is completed and the protocol sent to social services, or the investigation is completed and the testimony [Swedish: bevistalan, ed.] filed".

Such a testimony would set out the sequence of events in the crime without any punishment being given to the underage suspect.

"You can have trial and testimony at the same time. At the least, the person of minor age can be considered an accessory to the crime. In that case, being under the age of 15 does not come into play," Lars-Erik Bergström, lawyer at the district court in Falu, told TT.

Joint trial and testimony enables the court to reach a verdict in the case, while issuing legal sanctions only to suspects age 16 or over. Suspects under that age who are found guilty would remain under the authority of social services.

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