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CRIME

Sweden’s ‘snippa’ rape case to go to the High Court

When Sweden's appeals court threw out a guilty verdict in a child rape case over the meaning of 'snippa', a child's word for a vagina, it caused a scandal in Sweden. Now, the Swedish Supreme Court wants to hear from the Court of Appeals about its decision.  

Sweden's 'snippa' rape case to go to the High Court
Attorney General Petra Lundh said that the appeals court had conducted “a number of serious miscarriages of justice”. Henrik Montgomery/TT

Attorney General Petra Lundh criticised the appeals court for “a number of serious miscarriages of justice” in the way it dealt with the case. 

The man had been sentenced to three years imprisonment in 2021 after the district court heard how he, in the prosecutor’s words, had “by sticking his hand inside the plaintiff’s shorts and underwear, holding his hand on the the girl’s ‘snippa’ and having a finger inside her ‘snippa’, performed a sexual act” on her. 

The girl’s testimony was found to be credible, in part because she had told her mother about the incident on their way home.

But in February this year, the appeals court threw out the conviction, arguing that it was unclear what the girl means by the word snippa, a word taught to Swedish children to refer to female genitalia.

Despite agreeing with the district court that the man had touched the girl between her legs and inserted his finger into her snippa, the court found that it could not be determined whether the girl was referring to her vulva or to her vagina.

If the man had inserted his finger into her vagina, that would have met the standard to be classified as rape. Because the girl said that his finger was “far in”, but could not state exactly how far, the appeals court found that it could not establish beyond doubt that the man had inserted his finger in her vagina and not her the vulva.

Because no lower-grade charges, such as sexual abuse or molestation, had been filed against the man, the appeals court could not consider other offences.

This week, the Attorney General lodged a complaint with the Supreme Court against the appeal court’s decision. Now the Swedish Supreme Court has given the appeals court until April 12 to explain its decision-making in the case.

The Supreme Court has not decided whether it will hear an appeal against the decision to clear the man of rape charges.

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CRIME

Illegal Swedish strawberry sales raise billions of kronor for organised crime

Swedish police have carried out raids on strawberry vendors suspected of being linked to gang crime.

Illegal Swedish strawberry sales raise billions of kronor for organised crime

Police told Dagens Nyheter that the raids were connected to one of Sweden’s most wanted gang leaders, Ismail Abdo, nicknamed Jordgubben (“The Strawberry”).

In a statement police said they had “hit a central violent actor by targeting individuals around this person and their business structures”.

Raids were carried out in Bergslagen, as well as the Mitt and Stockholm police regions.

It’s suspected that these sellers had been marketing Belgian strawberries as Swedish and using the revenue to fund serious organised crime. Police also found children under the legal working age and migrants without legal residency permits working at the stalls.

Police believe that illegal strawberry sales turn over billions of kronor every year.

“We’ve carried out multiple actions together with other authorities,” Per Lundbäck, from the Bergslagen policing region, told Swedish news agency TT. “By cutting off the finances off this type of organised crime, we can weaken gangs’ financing and their ability to carry out crimes.”

To avoid buying strawberries linked to crime, Lundbäck recommends paying attention to the company you buy your strawberries from.

“The first thing you can do is look at the number the (mobile phone payment app) Swish payment goes to, to make sure it’s a company number starting with 123, and not a private number,” he said.

Most companies will have their Swish number displayed somewhere on the stand, so you should be able to check this even if you don’t have the app and are paying with card, for example.

He also added that you can pay attention to the age of the person selling the strawberries, describing very young sellers as a “red flag”.

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