Swedish police quiz two in triple murder case

Two brothers were being held by police on Monday over a triple murder in the town of Uddevalla in western Sweden on Saturday.

Swedish police quiz two in triple murder case
Police investigate after three people were found dead in Uddevalla, Sweden. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

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The younger man's lawyer, Bo Hallberg, told Swedish news agency TT his client denied the accusations.

“His view is that he completely denies involvement in this crime. Two very close friends are dead and he is very sad. And now he himself is under suspicion. He thinks this is an absurd and completely ridiculous situation,” said Hallberg.

The two brothers were born in 1992 and 1993 and are from Uddevalla. Both have previous convictions. Prosecutor Daniel Edsbagge did not want to give more information when asked by TT.

“I can't discuss details surrounding the investigation. It is still only just commencing and I don't know what the rest of the investigation will bring. We have theories, but to avoiding causing any damage I don't want to say more at this stage,” he said.

Meanwhile, officers were on Monday still looking for a moped seen driving north from the scene near Uddevalla hospital around the time of the killings, which were carried out between 1am and 1.30am on Saturday morning.

Residents of Uddevalla have been paying tribute to the victims. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

The three victims were identified on Saturday and officers have reported that they are two men, born 1992 and 1993, and one woman, born 1996. All are residents of Uddevalla.

Police spokesman Thomas Fuxborg confirmed on Sunday that the victims had been shot but declined to confirm how many shots had been fired.

The bodies were found by a jogger at around 7am on Saturday morning. The jogger found a dead man in a car and when the police arrived two further bodies were found lying nearby.

The area around the suspected murders remained cordoned off on Sunday night and large numbers of residents and mourners gathered at the hospital in the course of the day.

Many residents of Uddevalla, home to around 30,000 people, expressed shock over the gruesome events. 

"It is very disturbing. There has been some trouble here lately. But I didn't expect that something like this could happen," said Margot Magnusson, who lives near the hospital.

"I feel unsafe. I never go out by myself at night any more. This could happen to anyone," said Anna-Lisa, who also lives nearby, but did not want to share her surname due to her fears.


Swedish terror attacker sentenced to forced psychiatric care

A court has sentenced the far-right extremist Theodor Engström to forced psychiatric care for the knife attack he carried out at the Almedalen political festival this summer.

Swedish terror attacker sentenced to forced psychiatric care

The Gotland district court found the 33-year-old Engström guilty of murdering the psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren, but did not agree that the murder counted as a terror attack.

It did find him guilty, however, of “planning a terror attack”, for his preparations to murder the Centre Party’s leader, Annie Lööf. 

“The murdered woman had a significant role [in society], a murder is always serious, and this had consequences both for Almedalen Week and for society more broadly,” the judge Per Sundberg, said at a press conference. 

The judge Per Sundberg announces the sentence on Theodor Engström on December 6th. Photo: Karl Melander/TT

But he said that the court judged that Sweden’s terror legislation was too restrictively drafted for her murder to count as a terror offence. 

“Despite Ing-Marie Wieselgren’s well-attested position within psychiatry, the court considers that her position as national coordinator at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions is not such that her murder can in itself be considered to have damaged Sweden. The act cannot as a result be classified as a terrorist crime on those grounds.” 

The court ruled that Engström’s crimes deserved Sweden’s most severe sentence, a life sentence in prison, but found that due to his disturbed mental state he should instead receive “psychiatric care with a special test for release”. 

In its judgement, the court said that an examination by forensic psychiatrists had found both that there were “medical reasons” why Engström should be transferred into a closed psychiatric facility and that “his insight into the meaning of his actions and his ability to adjust his actions according to such insight were at the very least severely diminished”. 

It said that under Swedish law, a court could send someone to prison who was in need of psychiatric care only if there were “special reasons” to do so. 

“The court considers that it has not been shown that Theodor Engström’s need of psychiatric care is so limited that there is a special reason for a prison sentence,” it ruled. 

Lööf wrote on Instagram that the judgement was “a relief”. 

“For me personally, it was a relief when the judgement came,” she wrote. “Engström has also been judged guilty of ‘preparation for a terror attack through preparation for murder’. This means that the the court is taking the threat towards democracy and towards politicians as extremely serious.”

The fact that the court has decided that Engström’s care should have a “special test for release” means that he cannot be discharged from the closed psychiatric hospital or ward where he is treated without a court decision. 

The court must rule both that the mental disorder that led to the crime has abated to the extent that there is no risk of further crimes, and that he has no other mental disorders that might require compulsory psychiatric care. The care has to be reassessed every six months.