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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 September, 2004, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
Palme ex-suspect dies in hospital
Christer Pettersson
Christer Pettersson was cleared of Olaf Palme's murder in 1989
A man convicted and then acquitted of the murder of former Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme has died.

Christer Pettersson died two weeks after he was admitted to hospital in Stockholm, suffering from a coma apparently caused by head injuries.

He did not regain consciousness and the cause of his injuries is not known.

The 57-year-old was cleared on appeal of charges that he gunned down Mr Palme outside a Stockholm cinema in 1986. The case has not been solved.

Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson, who described Pettersson's life as tragic, said the case had been "thoroughly examined by the Swedish courts" and he had no reason to question their ruling.

Confession

Pettersson, a convicted criminal, was the only person to have faced trial for the killing.

He was cleared of the charge in 1989 after an appeals court ruled that evidence given by Mr Palme's wife, identifying Pettersson as the assassin, was unsound.

The gun used for the murder has never been found.

Pettersson later made - and retracted - statements to the media insisting he was the killer.

The left-leaning Mr Palme was one of Sweden's most popular leaders and his murder shocked the country.

The 2003 killing of Foreign Minister Anna Lindh in a Stockholm department store stirred memories of the Palme assassination and prompted a review of the relatively lax security arrangements for Swedish politicians.




SEE ALSO:
Lindh murder case to be reopened
13 Sep 04  |  Europe
Timeline: Sweden
14 Jul 04  |  Country profiles
Sweden's deep-seated openness
11 Sep 03  |  Europe



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