Six jailed over murder of woman in Dalarna

Six people were on Friday sentenced to jail in connection with the murder of a 61-year-old woman.

Six jailed over murder of woman in Dalarna
The woman's body was found near Långshyttan in Dalarna. Photo: Niklas Hagman/TT

The woman disappeared after a barbecue party near the village of Långshyttan in the rural Dalarna region last summer. She was found dead two weeks later in a water-filled mine shaft.

Falu District Court found four people guilty of murder. Newspaper Expressen reports that it sentenced Joakim Hessling, 26, who stabbed the victim, to 17 years in jail.

Daniel Viberg Wahlgren, 21, and Martin Broling, 24, were sentenced to 16 years in jail. Benita Hokkanen was handed a shorter punishment – 12 years – because she was only 20 at the time the murder was committed.

Two people – Per-Olov Höflinger, 46, and Mats Hedin, 45 – were found guilty of complicity in murder and sentenced to ten years in jail.

Another three women were convicted of failing to reveal murder, one woman was freed of all charges and one man was convicted of “less serious crimes”, wrote the court in a statement.

The court heard that the victim had lent money to some of the people charged, who did not appreciate her attempts to get the money back. In mid-June last year they decided to kill her.

They invited her to a barbecue party at a lake. Afterwards, they sat down in a car where some of them strangled her with a rope while singing along to the song 'Forever Angel' on the car stereo.

She was eventually stabbed to death after they noticed she was still breathing. The body was wrapped in plastic and thrown down the mine shaft. The group then used her bank card to make several purchases and took items from her apartment, reports Swedish news agency TT.

The lawyers for Broling, Hessling and Wahlgren told the newswire that they would likely appeal the sentence. None of the other people's lawyers immediately commented on whether or not they would appeal.


Swedish court to hear young people’s climate lawsuit against the state

Three hundred young people including activist Greta Thunberg will get to make their case after a Swedish court agreed to hear their lawsuit accusing the state of climate inaction.

Swedish court to hear young people's climate lawsuit against the state

The lawsuit, the first of its kind in the Scandinavian country, was originally filed in November 2022 by the organisation Aurora.

It argued the state “needs to do its fair share of the global work to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels”.

In its lawsuit, the group demanded the state take action to limit climate-heating greenhouse gas emissions and examine just how far it could reduce them within the limits of what is “technically and economically feasible in Sweden”.

The Nacka district court said it had given the state three months to respond to the lawsuit and that, depending on the parties’ pleas and positions, the case could either be taken to trial or handled through written procedure.

“At present, the district court cannot give a forecast as to when the case may be finalised or when it may be necessary to hold hearings in the case,” it said.

Climate activist Thunberg, who was one of the original signatories of the lawsuit, on Monday denounced an “unprecedented betrayal” from those in power after the United Nations’ climate panel warned the world was set to cross the key 1.5-degree global warming limit in about a decade.

She accuses them of living in “denial”.

In recent years, a growing number of organisations and citizens have turned to the courts to criticise what they say is government inaction on the climate.

In December 2019, the Dutch supreme court ordered the government to slash greenhouse gases by at least 25 percent by 2020, in a landmark case brought by an environmental group.

In a similar case in France, more than two million citizens took the French state to court for failing to act against climate change.