Gothenburg Prisoner Info
It's thursday (02.08.2001) and I got the lastet issue of Arbetaren (www.arbetaren.se). This is the updated info on the Gothenburg prisoners. Through all the prosecutions the court maintains that the riots were "planned, organized and carefuly prepared".
So far 29 of them are being/have been prosecuted, 12 are still awaiting prosecution in jail. 14 people are awaiting prosecution in connection with an appartment police say was used as a "command central" during the riots. The investigation is secret, and therefore unavailable for public scrutiny.
19 people have been sentenced to jail:
- 24 year old swede for sabotage. He supposedly jammed the police radio during the riots. He maintains his innocense. There were apparently several people disrupting police communication during the riots. This is the only one they caught. This guy is appealing his verdict.
SENTENCE: 1 year 2 months
- two 19 year old swedes for 'violent rioting'
SENTENCE: 8 months each
- A 30y old swede for 'violent rioting'. Not an organized activist.
SENTENCE: 10 months
- seven danes collectivly for 'violent rioting'. They were tracked by an undercover policeman, who says he saw them throw stones at the police. He then followed them to the café were they took their hoods of.
SENTENCE: varying from 1 month for the youngest to 8 months for the oldest.
- 19y old german for 'violent rioting'. He was shoot in the leg during the clashes with police in connection with the neo-nazi assault on the Reclaim the Streets party. He is going to be prosecuted for more crimes later. The prosectution showed videos of the german man throwing stones at police and he has admited that he did it.
SENTENCE: 6 months and Schengen Ban
- 20y old swede for leading and ("carefuly") planning and instigating violent riots. A group of 5-10 of the swedish secret police has been following around for a month since this guy was arrested during the protests in Prag. During the trial the police witnesses refused to say why they were watching him. They only said they were following orders. The sentenced is active in the swedish White Overal group Globalisering Underifrån. His defence attorney, Stig Centerwall, says he has been convicted without any evidence. "I've never seen anything like this." He was arrested one kilometre from one of the riots he supposedly instigated. The verdict his, among other things, based on the fact that the 20 year old man waved his arms during a riot(he says he waved at a friend). A police witness testified that there could be "no doubt" that he directed the riot. Stig Centerwall: "It's guesswork from the police. That the court hereby finds it proven that he encouraged violence against the police suggests that they haven't tried the evidence enough. The court hasn't been as careful as it should've." Centerwall also states that the court is putting all political groups in the same category and is trying to smear the left. "It is dangerous to do so." Centerwall thinks his client is going to be freed of all charges in the upcoming appeal.
SENTENCE: 2½ years. It would of been 3 if he had been older.
- 38y old swede for 'violent rioting' and instigating riots. Says he was to drunk to remember what he did. He managed to hit at least one shield and one police horse with a stone each according to the prosecution.
SENTENCE: 9 months.
- 24y old german for 'violent rioting' and attempted assault. He is to be expelled from Sweden after serving his time.
SENTENCE: 1 year 3 months and Schengen Ban for 10 years
- 33y old librarian from London, UK, for 'violent rioting'.
SENTENCE: 1 year and Schengen Ban
- 43y old italian for two instances of 'violent rioting'
SENTENCE: 2½ years and Schengen Ban for 10 years
- 20y old german for leading a group of five rioters and 'violent rioting'. The court says in the verdict that he was well prepared and had planned to partake in riots since he was wearing a ski-mask, gloves, and protective goggles.
SENTENCE: 1 year and 2 months and Schengen Ban
- 21y old finnish man for assault, theft and violence against a civil servant. Not an organized activist.
SENTENCE: 8 months
Schengen Ban: expelled from Sweden and forbidden to travel to any other Schengen nation for 5 years.
FREED OF ALL CHARGES:
- 26y old swede prosecuted for 'violent rioting'. The prosecution has appealled the verdict.
- five danes prosecuted for preparing assault and destruction of property. These guys made big headlines when they were arrested in an apartment containing five "bombs", later proven to be five big firecrackers made out of bits of garden hose. The police maintains they would have caused "great damage". The apartment also contained some signal flares and a can of butyric acid, an acid that smells very badly, probably to be used against police dogs along with the "bombs". The danes denied any knowledge of these items since they were only borrowing the apartment from a friend who was out of town. The police had followed these guys around as they made several trips into a nearby forest. The police later found a glove with butyric acid on it in those woods.
Note on 'violent rioting': to commit this crime, you don't actually have to partake in any violence, you just have to be inside a crowd that is using violence against property or people. Appearantly, the law also says that to be guilty of this crime your intent must be to be violent. The swedish courts are therefore making assments of what's going on inside peoples heads...
ONGOING PROSECUTIONS (as far as I know)
- A 24y old non-violent swede is being prosecuted for instigating the riots at the police siege of Hvitfeldska. He was on the inside, "leading" (he was a "mötesunderlättare", it translates directly to "meeting helper") the meeting the besieged held to decide what they should do. The meeting decided on a non-violent breakthrough with swedish White Overals in the front. He's risking a long prison sentence and that's a really nice way for the government to reward peoples effort at non-violent, un-masked resistance. A number of people have testified that he never encouraged anybody to use violence and no witness has testified to the contrary. In spite of this the prosecutor wanted the court to sentence him to between 3 and 5 years in prison. His defence attorney, Per Rudbäck, said that it is as if the prosecution are demanding higher and higher sentences for each trial. "This isn't normal.", he says. The verdict will fall on 6th of august, Rudbäck thinks he will be freed of all charges. I have my doubts about that...
- 25y old swede prosecuted for 'violent rioting', theft (he stole a bag from a police car(?)) and fraud (not connected to the riots). Has admited to throwing a few stones at the police after the prosecutor showed pictures and videotape of him doing it. A member of AFA Sweden (Anti-Fascist Action). The police kept him under surveillance before the riots. Someone tolded the police he had a stash of pictures and documents about AFA in the woods near his home. Since he belongs to AFA (who in Sweden are generally fingered as the major culprit in the riots) he is likely to get a long sentence. He had already been sentenced once for 'violent rioting' during the ninities. AFA Sweden (http://www.motkraft.net/afa/) is the focal point of a lot of upset emotions right now...
- 19y old german for 'violent rioting' and leading riots. This is the above mentioned german who got shot in the leg, these are the new charges brought against him.
- 19y old swede prosecuted for damaging property and 'violent rioting'.
One swedish commentator stated national TV that the trial have been excecuted "with almost chinese speed". He also said that it's usualy a good thing that trials are held some time after the event, to give the court some time to cool of and think things through before sentencing.
It usualy takes from about six months to a year before a trial takes place under normal sircumstances.
The swedish government is quite clearly making an example of those that oppose their politics with these China-speed trials and long (for swedish conditions) sentences. The sentences are getting longer and longer as the prosecution notices that the court has accepted its argumentation.
Net edition of swedish tabloid Aftonbladet (social democrat)
Swedish weekly Arbetaren issues 30/01 and 31/01 (anarcho-syndicalistic)
Swedish tabloid Expressen (liberal)