This is an originality of the judicial system in Sweden: the State easily pays compensation to the accused who are finally released for lack of irrefutable evidence. A holdover from a time when organized crime was still marginal, and where clearance rates were high. Alas, things have changed a lot: the settling of accounts between gangs is increasing against a background of all kinds of trafficking.
Sources of income
Last year, a new record was broken: 61 people died in 90 shootings. Police and investigators are overwhelmed, arrests of suspects rarely result in convictions. Result, the heads of suspected networks and placed in preventive can leave free with beautiful bonuses in compensation.
Last year, 97 million crowns (8.7 million euros) in damages were thus paid, which put the prosecution in anger against individuals who laugh in their face. The magistrates ask for a tightening of the rules. “If we catch these guys with a lot of money or expensive watches, they can always have this alibi: ‘I got the money from the Ministry of Justice,'” prosecutor Lisa Aberg told the daily Dagens. Nyheter, while many cannot prove a legal income. “They sit quietly for months and can get hundreds of thousands of crowns. »
Ways to better condemn
It is also the effectiveness of the prosecution that is in question, forcing the judicial system to return to fresh candor. In the case of settling accounts, the clearance rate is less than 25%. A Supreme Court decision on Tuesday, February 14, could change the situation.
The judges have decided in a murder case perpetrated in 2020 in the middle of the street, under a bus shelter, in Märsta in the north of Stockholm. In the absence of witnesses ready to speak, the Supreme Court considered that the body of evidence (DNA on the clothing and on the casings) was sufficient for a conviction. A decision that could lead to more resolutions, according to Attorney General Petra Lundh.
Previously, evidence could be analyzed individually and not as a whole. For their part, the investigators also indicate areas of progress, to lead to more convictions: increased use of video surveillance, shorter deadlines for examining the weapons of the crime or the mobile phones.