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Retrial ordered after judge falls asleep

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GOTHENBURG, Sweden, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A retrial has been ordered for an appeals court case in Gothenburg, Sweden, after the presiding judge fell asleep during proceedings, lawyers said.

"It is (a) very important aspect of the legal process that the person trying the district court decision is present," said prosecutor Margareta Esplund.

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The judge, whose name was not reported, maintains he did not fall asleep during the trial but has nonetheless agreed to no longer preside over the case, Swedish news agency TT reported Saturday.

Esplund said all the signs of someone falling asleep were witnessed in court that day.

"Normally when a person falls asleep there are certain indications of this -- you start by closing your eyes and then the head falls forward ... followed by jerking movements as you pull yourself together," she said.

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