Decision in the investigation into the murder of former Swedish prime minister Olof Palme
Chief Prosecutor Krister Petersson today, Wednesday 10 June, decided to discontinue the investigation into the murder of the former prime minister of Sweden, Olof Palme, which dates back to 28 February 1986 on the grounds that the "suspect is deceased”.
Chief Prosecutor Krister Petersson announced his decision during a digital press conference together with the Swedish Police Authority on Wednesday morning. According to Petersson, the killing is believed to have been performed by the lone perpetrator, Stig Engström.
“As the person is deceased, I cannot bring charges against him and have decided to discontinue the investigation. In my opinion, Stig Engström is the prime suspect. My assessment is that, after oveer 34 years, it is difficult to believe that any further investigation would provide us with any new details and therefore I believe we have come as far as one could expect”, says Chief Prosecutor Krister Petersson.
In the investigation, testimonies, statements and witness interviews were all analysed. To a large extent, we have been at the mercy of the police investigative work that was performed closer to the time of the crime. The current Palme investigation has not been able to repeat such investigative work.
“This concerns, among other things, the descriptions provided of Stig Engström which correspond well with several witness statements. His own statement concerning his actions during the period of time the crime was committed does not reconcile with statements provided by others. The evidence strongly suggests he was at the crime scene, but in a completely different role than the one he wished to present. All in all, there are a number of circumstances that point to Engström. Had the current Palme investigation group been in charge 34 years ago, Stig Engström would have been remanded in custody had he been unable to provide satisfactory explanations for his movements and actions. My assessment is that there would have been sufficient evidence to have him detained in custody”, says Chief Prosecutor Krister Petersson.
“At one time we had a reasonable chance of securing the murder weapon as well as other evidence, and to investigate whether he had acted as part of a wider conspiracy. Now this is not possible”, Krister Petersson concludes.
Head of Investigation Hans Melander, who also attended the press conference, says that the Palme investigation is one of the world's largest investigations.
“It is by far Sweden's largest criminal investigation and is sometimes compared with the murder of JFK and Lockerbie bombing. It has been ongoing since 1986 and contains 22,430 different points of interest. 90,000 people are included in the preliminary investigation of which 40,000 are named. More than 10,000 people have been interviewed, many of them several times. More than 4,000 vehicles were investigated. And 134 people have confessed to committing the murder, including 29 directly to the police”, says Head of Investigation Hans Melander.
The prosecutor and police are only available for interviews for those who have pre-registered.
Press Service, +46 10 562 50 20
About Swedish Prosecution Authority
The Swedish Prosecution Authority contributes to combatting crime in an effective and legally complaint way.
The Swedish prosecutor has a central role within the judicial system, both in Sweden and in an international context. The prosecutor’s role is to independently lead criminal investigations, make decisions on charges and take cases to court.
Subscribe to releases from Swedish Prosecution Authority
Subscribe to all the latest releases from Swedish Prosecution Authority by registering your e-mail address below. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Latest releases from Swedish Prosecution Authority
Verdict in Matter with Former Ambassador9.7.2020 09:09:15 CEST | Pressmeddelande
Tomorrow, Friday 10 July, the Stockholm District Court will pronounce judgment in the court matter with Sweden’s former ambassador to China who has been indicted with arbitrariness during negotiations with a foreign power. The prosecutor will be available to the media on telephone.
Closed: Help us to help you – answer our two-question survey25.6.2020 15:16:39 CEST | Pressmeddelande
The survey is closed.
Invitation to a Press Conference: Decision on Prosecution Matters in the Palme Investigation5.6.2020 08:51:00 CEST | Pressmeddelande
The Swedish Prosecution Authority and the Swedish Police Authority invite the media to a digital press conference on Wednesday 10 June at 9.30 am. Chief Prosecutor Krister Petersson will present his decision in the case and, together with Head of the Investigation Hans Melander, he will provide details concerning the investigation.
Prior to the Decision in the Palme Investigation29.5.2020 09:31:00 CEST | Pressmeddelande
The prosecutor intends to take a decision concerning prosecution matters in the Palme investigation before 1 July. Please find below information for the media regarding the decision.
Former Ambassador Charged9.12.2019 10:25:39 CET | Pressmeddelande
Sweden’s former ambassador to China has been indicted with arbitrariness during negotiations with a foreign power. The prosecutor will be available to the media on telephone this afternoon.
The Investigation Against Julian Assange is Discontinued19.11.2019 14:14:55 CET | Pressmeddelande
Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Eva-Marie Persson has today decided to discontinue the investigation regarding Julian Assange. The reason for this decision is that the evidence has weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question.
In our pressroom you can read all our latest releases, find our press contacts, images, documents and other relevant information about us.Visit our pressroom