Sweden to investigate case of man convicted, cleared of 8 killings

Nov. 27, 2013 at 1:38 PM
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- A panel has been named in Sweden to investigate how a mentally ill man could be convicted of eight killings, only to have the guilty verdicts overturned.

Thomas Quick, who now uses the name Sture Bergwall, participated in a television program Tuesday night that discussed his case. Quick, who at one time said he had killed 20 people and had also been involved in cannibalism, says he was under strong medication when he confessed and is trying to get released, The Local.se reported.

Justice Minister Beatrice Ask told Sveriges Television she does not believe the case demonstrates a systemic problem with the country's justice system. But she said Daniel Tarschys, a political science professor, will head a panel that will review the Quick case and determine what went wrong.

"But it is of course obvious that things can't go so wrong that a person is found guilty of eight murders, only to be freed of the charges for all of them," she said. "Something went wrong somewhere, which means we have to look into what went wrong."

Quick refused to stay on stage with Goran Lambertz, a former justice chancellor. Lambertz was involved in clearing police and prosecutors of misconduct in the investigation.

"I think it is completely unique that a freeing judgment leads to ordering another mental review," said Quick, who spoke calmly. "They didn't order mental reviews of the other crazies in this case."

Leif G.W. Persson, a crime writer and professor of criminology, said a prosecutors erred by paying too much attention to the doctors evaluating Quick and not enough to the facts of the case. He also suggested authorities do not want to free Quick because they do not want him talking publicly about the treatment he received in Sater Psychiatric Prison.

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