Cross examination: ”Not telling the full story”

The 17-year-old charged with murder indicated on the police stand-in (to the left) where on the body the victim was stabbed. However the initial information – a stab to the abdomen – turned out not to be correct as the victim did not have any abdominal injuries. The boy’s lawyer Fredrik Elveros participated in the hours long questioning on Tuesday, the second day of the murder trial.
The 17-year-old charged with murder indicated on the police stand-in (to the left) where on the body the victim was stabbed. However the initial information – a stab to the abdomen – turned out not to be correct as the victim did not have any abdominal injuries. The boy’s lawyer Fredrik Elveros participated in the hours long questioning on Tuesday, the second day of the murder trial.

The teenage boy is the only one of the four charged with murder who has admitted involvement in the violent act. In a several hours long questioning on Tuesday he was pressured by two of the other defendants’ lawyers. ”We don’t think he’s telling us the full story of the other people’s involvement”, says prosecutor Andreas Nyberg.

Engelska 21 juni 2023 16:34

Tuesday morning: The second day of the trial regarding the Malå murder committed on the night between February 12 and 13 is initiated at Skellefteå District Court. 

The sweltering heat persists. There are somewhat fewer spectators in the courtroom today compared with Monday. 

As the hearing is behind schedule it is only this morning that the murder victim’s mother is questioned and a close relative is questioned via video link. 

Norran reported on Monday the mother’s gripping, tearful reaction when she, that same day in the courtroom, heard the 40-minute-long call to the emergency services when her son was lying in the apartment literally fighting for his life after having received around 20 stab wounds primarily to the back of his upper body. 

– I cannot fathom how there can be so many tears, the mother says when she describes the time period following the murder (it is possible to read the entire live report (only in Swedish) of the questioning of the victim’s mother and the teenage boy charged with murder). 

Four murder suspects, four cars from the detention centre. A large number of security guards and detention centre staff are present during the murder trial. As the defendants are issued with restrictions they are to be kept apart and should not be able to communicate with each other.

The next very important part of the trial is initiated after lunch: Questioning of the defendants. 

First is the teenage boy – he has not yet turned 18 – who is the only one of the four to admit participation in the crime. He admits to aggravated assault by one stab with a knife but says that there was no intent to kill the 30-year-old. 

The teenage boy was early on a name of interest in the murder investigation, and there was a feeling among the investigating police officers that he was not telling them everything he knows. 

But in order to understand why the questioning is initiated just after 13:00 this Tuesday in Skellefteå we have to go back to Friday April 28

That was when the teenager’s father – who states that he is shocked by what he has found out – contacted one of the police investigators of serious crimes in Umeå. 

The lawyers Erik von Ahn, Jens Nyström and Ulf Holst represent the three Malå residents charged with murder. In all police interrogations they have denied any connection to the murder of the 30-year-old man in mid-February in a Malå residence.

The message is as clear as it is dramatic: The teenager wants to confess to his participation in the stabbing. 

In the same phone conversation the teenage boy also talks to the investigator. 

That same day as he is collected by a police squad he is notified of being a suspect in the murder committed in mid-February. 

From the police report about the teenage boy's first words in the back of the police car: 

“He says that he at least doesn't deny it and then goes on to say that he confesses. The questioning is concluded”. 

At lunchtime a day later he is questioned by two investigators of serious crimes. They are in the police lock-up in Umeå. By his side the boy has the lawyer Fredrik Elveros. 

Based on the information revealed, an order is put out for the boy to be detained which then occurs on Sunday, April 30.

The teenage boy was questioned in three longer police interrogations and in one of these he got to describe where his knife entered the victim’s body. The initial information about the stab wound to the abdomen did however turn out not to be correct as the victim did not have any abdominal injuries.

Four police interrogations – the first one being very brief – were held with the boy from the arrest on April 28 up until May 23. 

During these interrogations the teenage boy’s description of what happened that evening and night broadens. He talks about the preparations ahead of the visit at the 30-year-old’s home, the way in which he participates and stabs the victim, what he sees before he runs out of the apartment, and what happens afterwards. 

In the three interrogations he accounts for a number of pieces of information that to some extent changes from one interrogation to the next. 

In the first interrogation he describes how it became too much to carry the burden of what he had done at the same time as, in his opinion, innocent persons had been deprived of their liberty (a relative). 

Visitors to Skellefteå District Court must pass through security every day of the trial.

He describes how he and the 20-year-old murder suspect armed themselves with knives and walked towards the 30-year-old’s home that February night. They were let in – and after initial brief physical violence towards the 30-year-old, the knife attack starts. 

The teenage boy also connected the accused 40-year-old woman to the scene but says that she didn't participate in any physical violence towards the victim. 

However, according to information given in some of the interrogations, the teenage boy says he saw the 20-year-old attacking the victim. At the same time the boy gave inconsistent accounts during the three interrogations, something that prompted the police investigators to repeatedly ask him whether he was protecting anyone or is afraid of anyone. 

In one of the interrogations he admitted to protecting the woman as he had considered her to not be involved in the violence despite being present. 

In the interrogations he returned to the motive – the alleged accusations of violations the 30-year-old is said to have carried out a long time ago against close acquaintances of the charged teenager.

The teenage boy is led into Skellefteå District Court ahead of the six day trial.

And now back to the courtroom in Skellefteå this Tuesday. For over three hours the teenage boy is asked numerous questions by two prosecutors, the counsel for an injured party and three of the lawyers (the charged 50-year-old’s lawyer Jens Nyström does not ask any questions). 

Prosecutor Andreas Nyberg shot off a number of detailed questions and when it is time for the defence lawyers Ulf Holst and Erik von Ahn the pressure increases significantly. 

The boy said that partially new information comes to him after having thought through what he thinks has happened, conclusions he has drawn after the fact and what he knows for sure.  

The teenage boy's massively conflicting information meant that Holst and von Ahn questioned whether the boy stuck to the truth in some parts of the police interrogations, and he admited that he had perhaps not been truthful in all information he gave.

Lawyer Fredrik Elveros is the teenage murder suspect’s defendant. In the questioning the boy confessed to aggravated assault but denies premeditated murder.

At the same time he received support from defence lawyer Fredrik Elveros regarding why the information differed but he confirmed that the boy fundamentally stuck to the same story: That he, the 20-year-old and the 40-year-old woman had gone to the 30-year-old’s home. 

– With time my client has understood how important it is to express yourself carefully and distinguish between what one believes, conclusions made in an analysis, and that which one knows for certain. And he is also clear in saying, which has been suggested from other quarters, that he is not afraid of anyone. 

Prosecutor Andreas Nyberg: 

– The accused has given a coherent story during Tuesday's questioning. It varies in some parts compared to earlier statements. If the earlier interrogations had been played back first it would have given a better picture of how the story has changed and developed. But he is talking about the involvement of two other people who in our opinion are also perpetrators. 

- He has given an explanation as to why he has come out with different information and this is not the only available evidence. And we retain the position that he is not telling us everything about the involvement of all parties, he adds.

Live report/the mother

• ”He laid there in a pool of blood”, said the mother when she described what it was like when she came into her son’s home.

• Just after the emergency services arrived the mother made the decision to enter the home. 

• The murder victim’s mother said in conclusion that she has heard rumours about the son subjecting others to violations.  Though she had not seen or heard anything that can confirm this. 

• It has been established that the 30-year-old has not been convicted of any crimes. 

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