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Last Updated: Monday, 28 June, 2004, 13:56 GMT 14:56 UK
Lindh killer challenges verdict
Mijailo Mijailovic
Mijailovic argues he was mentally ill at the time of the attack
The man convicted of the murder of Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh last year has appeared in court to appeal against the verdict.

Mijailo Mijailovic has admitted stabbing Anna Lindh but says he did not intend to kill her, a vital element in a murder conviction in Sweden.

He is also arguing that he was mentally ill at the time of the attack.

Mijailovic, 25, says he should be receiving psychiatric care rather than serving a prison sentence.

The defendant did not speak at the appeal. He shook his head as he sat beside his lawyer, Peter Althin.

Mr Althin is asking for the court to reduce the sentence or throw out the murder conviction and reduce the charge to involuntary manslaughter.

"This was an impulsive act and it was a coincidence that it was Anna Lindh," he said.

'Voices'

Mijailo Mijailovic was sentenced in March for knifing Lindh in a Stockholm department store last year. She died in hospital a day later.

He told his original trial that voices in his head had instructed him to kill Lindh but the court decided, on the evidence of psychiatrists, that he was responsible for his actions and therefore guilty of murder.

However, after the conviction a group of court-appointed experts concluded he was suffering from a borderline personality disorder and should be given psychiatric treatment.

If the appeal court accepts the experts' findings, he could be transferred to a secure hospital and could, in theory, be released within two years if he recovers from his illness.




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