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CRIME

Carolin Stenvall murder trial begins

Toni Alldén, 51, the man who has confessed to killing 29-year-old Carolin Stenvall in northern Sweden, said he had "no explanation" for why he had taken the woman's life as his trial began on Monday.

Carolin Stenvall murder trial begins

Stenvall’s mother and father both lowered their heads as police enacted a reconstruction in Gällivare District Court of how they believe the woman was killed on September 12th last year.

Police forensic experts believe Stenvall either stood or was on her knees when she was shot in the back at a rest stop near the E10 motorway. The perpetrator then came around to face his victim, who had struggled back onto her knees, before shooting her in the head with a hunting rife.

Alldén has confessed to shooting the woman, who was first reported missing in September 2008 after failing to turn up for a job interview, but claims the he shot her only after he had accidentally caused her death by pushing her to the ground.

In court, Alldén said he was glad he had to opportunity to speak about what had happened and that he hoped the trial would bring an end to five months of speculation.

“It’s just as hard for me to understand what happened as it is for everybody else. I don’t have an explanation. Maybe I’m suffering from stress symptoms; there’s something about that in the documents from Umeå,” said Alldén, in reference to the town in which he underwent a psychiatric evaluation.

According to Alldén, the two had an argument at a rest area where he was in the process of discarding rubbish. Stenvall was first injured after he pushed her to the ground, at which point he panicked and loaded her body into his car.

He then drove for several hours trying to figure out what to do with Stenvall, who was still alive at the time.

At some point, Alldén stopped off at another rest area near the E10 motorway, about 40 kilometres south of where he had initially pushed Stenvall.

He then lifted the woman’s body out of the car and shot her in the back. He claims that he is sure Stenvall by now was dead, but can’t explain why he fired the shots at her allegedly lifeless body.

According to Alldén, his head was filled with chaos at the time.

He then put Stenvall’s body back in his car and drove to a small forest road where he tried to burn the body, covering her remains with leaves.

Several weeks later he then moved the body to another isolated forest trail, an act for which Alldén still cannot provide any explanation.

While in custody, Alldén underwent a psychiatric examination which found that he wasn’t suffering from any mental illness, meaning that he will face time in jail if convicted.

CRIME

Swedish court clears former Swedbank CEO of fraud charges

Birgitte Bonnesen, a former CEO of Swedish bank Swedbank, has been acquitted of charges of fraud and sharing insider information.

Swedish court clears former Swedbank CEO of fraud charges

The ruling from the Stockholm District Court comes four years after the eruption of a money laundering scandal implicating the bank.

In 2019, Swedish public service broadcaster SVT alleged that at least 40 billion kronor (equivalent at the time to $4.4 billion) of suspicious and high-risk transactions had been channelled to Baltic countries, notably Estonia, from Swedbank accounts.

The revelations, which saw the bank’s share price crumble, rendered Bonnesen’s position untenable and she was fired.

Sweden’s financial regulator the following year fined the bank some 360 million euros and warned it to follow anti-money laundering laws.

Prosecutors later charged Bonnesen, accusing her of “intentionally or by aggravated negligence” providing false or misleading information about the steps the bank had taken to prevent and detect suspected money laundering.

Bonnesen, who risked two years in prison, denied all of the charges against her.

The court said that while some of the statements the former CEO made to media outlets had been “unclear and incomplete”, they did not amount to fraud.

“For criminal liability, it is not enough for someone to make a false statement or omit key information,” judge Malou Lindblom said, adding that any statement needed to be sufficient to influence recipients “in a certain direction”.

Bonnesen was also cleared of charges of revealing insider information by informing the bank’s main owners that the investigative documentary was coming.

The court said the former CEO had only revealed what she believed the documentary would cover, which was deemed too “imprecise” to be considered insider information.

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