Archive for Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Suspect arrested in slaying of Swedish foreign minister

September 17, 2003


— Police arrested the suspected killer of Foreign Minister Anna Lindh in a Stockholm suburb Tuesday night, officials said, after issuing a nationwide alert with a photo of the attacker.

The suspect was described as a Swedish man but wasn't further identified. He was detained near a restaurant in Solna, a suburb of the capital, Stockholm, police spokeswoman Stina Wessling said.

Police spokesman Leif Jennekvist said that the suspect looked similar to the picture that was circulating and they were trying to determine if it's the same person.

The suspect will undergo DNA testing to see if his matches genetic material recovered from a baseball cap found near the scene. Police also recovered DNA from the knife used by the attacker, but the amount was too small for immediate use and was still undergoing processing.

Lindh was stabbed several times in the stomach, chest and arm in an upscale Stockholm department store last Wednesday and died the next day after several hours of surgery. The crime shocked the nation and cast a shadow over a weekend referendum on whether to adopt the euro.

Until Tuesday, police had made no arrests, a fact that has prompted comparisons to the unsolved slaying of Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986.

"It was not a dramatic arrest," Wessling said, adding that plain clothes officers arrested the unarmed Swede without incident.

Tips from the public helped police identify and arrest the man, according to police.

Jennekvist said two other men were taken in for questioning, but were not considered suspects. He added that family members of the suspect also were questioned.

In addition to the arrested suspect, police also are pursuing others in the investigation.

"We have at least five people of high interest that we will check," he said.

A memorial for Lindh was scheduled for Friday. Leaders from Britain, Finland, Norway and Denmark said they would attend, along with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

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