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Sweden frees 1, jails 1 in killing

By Associated Press
Published September 25, 2003

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - In an abrupt about-face, police freed one suspect and arrested another Wednesday in the stabbing death of Foreign Minister Anna Lindh.

Authorities would not say why the 35-year-old drifter picked up last week was let go, but they said evidence against the new suspect was stronger than anything they had before.

Police would only say the suspect was arrested without incident in Stockholm.

"We have stronger suspicions against this suspect than the previous one, but we're not releasing any details," police spokesman Lars Groenskog said.

The investigation first centered on a suspect held for a week after prosecutors said there was "reasonable cause" he stabbed Lindh in a crowded department store Sept. 10. The unidentified man was released Wednesday.

In announcing the arrest of a new suspect, prosecutor Agneta Blidberg said authorities had "probable cause" to believe he was involved in the killing - a higher level of suspicion in the Swedish justice system.

Police can hold a suspect for three days before they are required to get a court-approved detention order to keep him in custody for another week.

The previous suspect in Lindh's murder, whose name was never released, was arrested after police said he appeared to match the surveillance camera pictures. Investigators acknowledged the evidence against him wasn't conclusive, but managed to win a one-week detention order.

The man had denied any role in Lindh's killing.

Lead investigator Leif Jennekvist said the latest suspect also appeared to match the man seen on the surveillance camera wearing a baseball cap and a hooded sweater.

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