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 police open arson case after mosque fire

Swedish police said on Tuesday they were investigating whether a fire that reduced a mosque to rubble the previous day in central Sweden was arson.

Swedish police open arson case after mosque fire

“The investigation into the fire is continuing. Police will question witnesses and verify whether there were security cameras in the area,” the police said in a statement on their website.

The fire broke out on Monday around noon in Eskilstuna, a town of 108,000 people 150 kilometres (93 miles) west of Stockholm, causing no injuries, a police spokesman told AFP.

There are no suspects and no arrests have been made.

“The mosque is almost completely destroyed, nothing can be saved,” mosque spokesman Anas Deneche told AFP.

Deneche said the mosque had been the target of several acts of violence in the past year and his family had been threatened.

“But it’s still too early to draw any conclusions (about the cause of the fire), we’ll have to wait for the police to do their work,” he said.

Police said they were investigating several leads but provided no other details.

Between 15,000 and 20,000 Muslims live in Eskilstuna.