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
Prosecution for War Crimes in Iran27.7.2021 10:18:19 CEST | Pressmeddelande
Today, a decision has been taken to prosecute an Iranian citizen suspected of committing grave war crimes and murder in Iran during 1988. The Swedish public prosecutors Kristina Lindhoff Carleson and Martina Winslow are available for brief comments this afternoon.
New Content on Prosecutor.se19.5.2021 08:56:09 CEST | Press release
The Swedish Prosecution Authority´s English webpage has been updated. The purpose is to offer new content which is better adapted to foreign visitors. The webpage now contains answers to frequently asked questions about how the Swedish judicial system works, and prosecutors´ role within it.
Investigation into serious breach of data secrecy by Russian intelligence agency discontinued13.4.2021 11:02:21 CEST | Pressmeddelande
During the period December 2017 to May 2018, the Swedish Sports Confederation was the target of repeated and comprehensive breaches of their computer system in Sweden. The offence is classified as serious breach of data secrecy. Today, the prosecutor has decided to discontinue the investigation due to the lack of the necessary preconditions for taking legal proceedings abroad or extradition to Sweden.
A person indicted for espionage22.2.2021 10:27:45 CET | Pressmeddelande
Today, a 47-year old man has been indicted for espionage. The person is suspected of meeting a Russian diplomat over a number of years with the purpose of providing information in return for money. The investigation has been undertaken by the Swedish Security Service under the direction of a prosecutor at the National Security Unit of the Swedish Prosecution Authority. The prosecutor is available for the media today.
Prosecution of a Former Surgeon at Karolinska University Hospital29.9.2020 09:43:14 CEST | Pressmeddelande
Today, Director of Public Prosecution, Mikael Björk has issued an indictment for aggravated assault in a case where three people had synthetic tracheas implanted at Karolinska University Hospital. The prosecutor is available to the media on telephone for brief comments.
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.
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