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CRIME

Sweden rejects Chinese request to extradite fugitive former official

Sweden's Supreme Court said on Tuesday it was refusing the extradition of a Chinese man accused of economic crimes because the man risks persecution and the death penalty in China.

Sweden rejects Chinese request to extradite fugitive former official
Swedish and Chinese flags pictured side by side at a Beijing event. File photo: Maja Suslin / TT

Qiao Jianjun, a former official of the Chinese state grain administration who has lived mainly in the United States since 2011, is wanted by Beijing as part of a sweeping government campaign against corruption.

He is accused of having embezzled over 200 million yuan ($29 million or 25.9 million euros), according to documents from Chinese authorities provided to Sweden.

Qiao Jianjun contests the accusations against him and claims he has been in Beijing's sights since joining the “China Democracy Party” in 2010.

“He denies the crimes and is only being hunted by Chinese authorities because they think he isn't faithful to the (Communist) party,” his lawyer, Henrik Olsson Lilja, told AFP.

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The Swedish top court said that there was a “real risk” that the accused could be sentenced to death, and assurances otherwise by Chinese authorities could not be given enough weight to justify extradition.

“The Supreme Court makes the assessment that there is a risk that he will be subjected to persecution because of his political activity and that he will be subjected to treatment in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights,” Justice Petter Asp said in a statement.

“Under these conditions, extradition cannot take place,” he added. Qiao Jianjun was arrested and detained in Sweden in June 2018 at the request of China.

He was released on June 19th, 2019 only to be again arrested a week later in another case, this time at the behest of the US, where authorities suspect him of money laundering in 2015.

Sweden has given the US until August 2nd to submit a more detailed account of the crimes he is suspected of before it decides on a potential extradition.

The Swedish government officially makes the final decision on extradition matters, but it is obliged to follow the Supreme Court's rulings. 

READ ALSO: Ex-Swedish ambassador to China suspected of crime over 'secret' meetings about jailed bookseller

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HEALTH

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 

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