Police arrest new suspect in Lindh killing

35-year-old drifter released

NYHETER

- Under intense pressure to find the killer of Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, police arrested a new suspect Wednesday and released another they held for more than a week.

Investigators said the evidence against the new suspect, who wasn't identified, was stronger than that compiled against the previous suspect, a 35-year-old drifter who had been held since Sept. 16.

Prosecutor Agneta Blidberg told reporters there was "probable cause" the new suspect stabbed Lindh at a crowded department store two weeks ago. The man was arrested early Wednesday.

Lindh's death sent shock waves across the Scandinavian country of 9 million and evoked painful memories of the unsolved 1986 murder of Prime Minister Olof Palme.

Released after a week

In the Palme investigation, one suspect was captured and released after a week. Another suspect was convicted but acquitted on appeal. Unlike the Lindh investigation, however, police never found the murder weapon used to kill the prime minister.

The previous suspect in Lindh's murder, whose name was never officially released, was arrested after police said he appeared to match surveillance camera pictures of the man they believe killed the popular foreign minister. Investigators acknowledged the evidence against him wasn't conclusive, but managed to win a one-week detention order from the Stockholm district court last Friday.

"He is no longer suspected of murder," Blidberg said, declining to say anything further.

Denied any role in Lindh´s killing

The man had denied any role in Lindh's killing.

Lead investigator Leif Jennekvist said the new suspect also appeared to match the man seen on surveillance camera pictures shortly before the attack wearing a baseball cap and a hooded sweater. Cameras didn't capture the actual attack.

He declined to comment on any other evidence gathered, including whether DNA tests would be done on the new suspect. He also refused to say what results were gathered from DNA analysis on the former suspect.

Peter Althin, a well-known lawyer in the Scandinavian nation of 9 million, was appointed defense lawyer for the man arrested Wednesday. Althin, who also represents a Swedish citizen being held by the United States at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba, told The Associated Press he had not yet spoken to his client.

Died efter surgery

Lindh died Sept. 11 after several hours in surgery as doctors struggled to stem severe internal bleeding and damage to her stomach and liver.

Police do not believe the attack against Lindh was planned or politically motivated, although it came just three days before Swedes voted in a referendum on adopting the euro, that failed.

Lindh was a leading campaigner for replacing the Swedish krona with the common currency - an issue that had inspired vehement opposition.

AP

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