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Stockholm suburb explosion: ‘My door just flew in by several metres’

One person was injured and around 50 were evacuated from their homes following two explosions in residential buildings in a suburb of Stockholm early on Tuesday morning.

Stockholm suburb explosion: 'My door just flew in by several metres'
Police technicians investigate while residents wait outside the building. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg / TT

The two blasts occurred just minutes apart and just a few hundred metres from each other in Husby, northwestern Stockholm, at around 2.30am.

One person was taken to hospital to be treated for minor injuries, and the buildings suffered considerable damage. Around 50 residents were evacuated while the buildings were assessed.

“My door just flew in by several metres. It was completely crushed,” a fourth floor resident told TT.

Police had on Tuesday morning cordoned off the surrounding area so technicians could work at the scene and investigate. They were also looking into whether there were cameras in the area, and speaking to witnesses.

“We don't yet know where the explosions happened, more than that it was close to or in the buildings,” said police press spokesperson Towe Hägg.

Police believe the two incidents were connected and have opened a preliminary investigation into so-called devastation endangering the public. “It was such a short interval between them, so we're investigating this as a single incident and we'll see if that changes during the investigation,” said Hägg.

Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reports that the blast could be linked to an explosion in the upmarket Stockholm area Östermalm last week, but police could not confirm when approached by The Local.

“It's too early to say if we can connect it (with previous explosions), but we are of course trying to figure out if there are parallels with these different investigations that links them to the other detonations this past week,” police press spokesperson Ola Österling told The Local. 

The incident is being treated as a so-called “special incident”, which can be launched to deal with a range of unexpected or sudden issues which the relevant police unit needs extra help and resources to deal with.

IN DEPTH: Crime gangs in Sweden: What's behind the rise in the use of explosives?

Additional reporting by Elias Liljeström for The Local.

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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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