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16-year-old charged over death of homeless man

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16-year-old charged over death of homeless man
Prosecutor Linda Schön speaking to reporters on Monday. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT
14:16 CET+01:00
A 16-year-old boy has been charged with murder over the death of a homeless Romanian man in a park earlier this year.

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.

Two boys are suspected of beating the man to death after harrassing him over an extended period of time. Before kicking the man repeatedly, the boys are accused of throwing stones, apples and urine at the man, and filming parts of the abuse.

The older boy will be charged with murder, alternatively aggravated assault and causing another person's death, but the younger of the pair, aged 14, is below the age of criminal responsibility so will not be charged. Both have been taken in by social services.

"Both the indictment and the testimony contain a statement that they committed a crime together," said prosecutor Linda Schön. "What I'm stating is that the 16-year-old and the 14-year-old killed the man together."

She said that the investigation has not established a motive for the suspected murder, but that there is no evidence it was a hate crime.

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.

The 14-year-old will not undergo a criminal trial but social services have ordered evidential proceedings, an investigation carried out to establish what happened and who was responsible. If the boy is found guilty as a result, he won't receive a punishment but social services will continue to take care of him.

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