Sweden says 34 year mystery of Palme assassination is solved
A Swedish prosecutor closed the case of the 1986 assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme on Wednesday, accusing an insurance company graphic designer who died 20 years ago of the country's most notorious unsolved crime.
Emer McCarthy reports.
Closing a chapter on Sweden's most notorious unsolved crime: the assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme.
[Head of investigation, Hans Melander, spoke via a translator on Wednesday:] "Well we can say that this is one of the biggest police investigations in the world.
It is often compared to the assassination of JFK and also with the Lockerbie bombing and if we look to Sweden then of course it is by far Sweden's biggest criminal investigation ever.'' Palme, the leader of Sweden's Social Democrats, was shot dead in central Stockholm in 1986 after a visit to the cinema.
A Swedish prosecutor closed the case on Wednesday (June 10).
Krister Petersson, who has led an investigation into the case since 2017, said the killer was Stig Engstrom, a suspect long known to Swedes as "Skandia man" after the company where he worked, with offices near the scene of the shooting.
Engstrom, known to have been at the scene, was repeatedly questioned in early investigations but dismissed as a serious suspect at the time.
He died in the year 2000.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Wednesday (June 10) that he hoped the findings could begin healing the wounds left by the national trauma of the assassination 34 years ago.
Lofven said that while a conviction and more definitive evidence would have been desirable, the current investigation had gone further than previous inquiries.
Palme's son, Marten, told public service radio he also believed Engstrom was the killer, but said, quote, "unfortunately there is no real conclusive evidence." Conspiracy theories around the assassination blamed a range of forces, from the CIA and Kurdish separatists to the South African security services.