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New investigations in the Pal Palme case ’, the crime that traumatized Europe | International

The scene of the murder of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in central Stockholm, on March 1, 1986. On video, the keys to the case.

For more than three decades, Sweden’s justice has failed in all its attempts to solve the most traumatic crime the Nordic country has suffered, the assassination of Social Democratic Prime Minister Olof Palme, one of the most important European politicians in the second half of the twentieth century. Ten thousand people have been questioned, 130 have pleaded guilty and even one man was tried and sent to jail, only to be released after four months when the appeal ruling overturned the evidence. Stieg Larsson, the black novelist and journalist who sold 40 million copies of his saga MilleniumHe was obsessed until his death in 2004 with the case and believed he had resolved it.

Palme’s assassination in central Stockholm, on Friday, February 28, 1986, was one of those events that changed the image that a country has of itself. And collective trauma increased with the inability to resolve it. But everything can be about to change.

The prosecutor in charge of the case since 2016, Krister Petersson, announced this week on SVT public television that he was “optimistic about the possibility of explaining what happened that night and presenting a guilty party” more or less quickly. The statement has been received in Sweden with a mixture of hope and skepticism and the press has once again been filled with theories about a case that has never been closed, either police or socially. In his statements in different media, Petersson argues that a new look on that icy February night, when the prime minister decided to return home without an escort to seven degrees below zero after watching the movie The Mozart brothers, It has allowed him to adjust the pieces differently and finally move towards closing the case.

The fact that a decisive advance has been announced before an arrest has taken place has led other prosecutors to consider that it is a new mistake in the investigation or, most likely, that the possible culprit has died. “I cannot imagine that justice would have acted in this way if the accused were alive,” former Sven Erik Alhem told the SVT. Another possibility is that the weapon of the assassination has been found: a Magnum .357 Smith & Wesson, so far lost.

Olof Palme, in front of his house in 1973.

Olof Palme, in front of his house in 1973. GETTY

Most Swedish media believes that the new tracks point to someone who was already on the police radar, the so-called Skandia man, Stig Engström, who was both a witness and a suspect and who died in 2000. Palme, prime minister from 1969 to 1976 and again between 1982 and 1986, was instrumental in creating the Swedish welfare state and militant of numerous causes Humanitarian and human rights. He was an admired man, who left a deep imprint on the entire world left, but also hated by a part of society. According to the press, the possible culprit belonged to that ultra-right environment that considered Palme to be destroying his country, had access to a weapon like the one used in the crime and was at the scene.

It is not a new theory – it has until its own Wikipedia entry-, but was revealed in 2018 by a magazine investigation Filter and it had already been pointed out by Larsson, who was not only a world-famous novelist, but a stubborn investigative journalist, obsessed by Swedish ultra-right networks. It is still strange that someone who has already been questioned and investigated by the police, pointed out for a long time by the media, comes back to resurface, but in the Palme case everything is possible.

The assassination of the social democratic leader has been surrounded by conspiracy theories

The night Palme was killed has been analyzed to the smallest details: he decided at the last moment to go to the cinema with his wife, one of his three children and his partner; He traveled by subway, waited for the line and, at the end of the movie, decided to walk two kilometers to his house in the historic center. A few minutes later, someone approached from behind and pulled two shots. He died instantly, even before falling to the ground, while his wife, Lisbeth, was slightly injured.

A dark evil

The killer fled through steep stairs and vanished into the night. The first hours, decisive in any investigation, were a complete fudge. Two details can be used to summarize how things were done: the crime scene was not cordoned off, and hundreds of citizens left flowers almost above the blood, nullifying any possibility of finding traces, and one of the two caps was located two days later, And not even by the police.

From the first moment the theories about authorship were divided into two: an international plot organized by the Kurdish independence workers of the PKK – which obsessed the first investigator of the case -, the South African secret services, the KGB or the CIA, among many other speculations, Facing a local and casual crime. The first theory, to some extent, preserved Sweden’s idea as a perfect country assaulted by a criminal who came from outside. The second, on the other hand, pointed to a dark and lethal evil hiding within its society. Thirty-four years later an answer can finally arrive.


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