STOCKHOLM (AP) — The unsolved slaying of former Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme 34 years ago won’t be reopened, a Swedish prosecutor said Wednesday, adding that those who have requested a review have no connection to the case that would justify ”a substantive review of the prosecutor’s closure decision.”
Under Swedish law, a prosecutor’s decision can be appealed to a higher prosecutor and “a number of petitions” for review into the murder of Palme in Stockholm have been received by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Chief Prosecutor Lennart Gune said. He didn’t say how many.
The slaying — Palme was gunned down on Feb. 28, 1986 after he and his wife Lisbet Palme left a movie theater — shocked the Scandinavian nation and upended its image as being so safe and peaceful that politicians could wander around in public without protection.
Gune said normally it’s required that the person — a suspect, a victim or a close relative — requesting an appeal has a legitimate interest in having the decision reviewed.
“I do not believe that there are such special reasons that justify that the case is now taken up for review,” Gune said in a statement.
On June 10, the case’s chief prosecutor, Krister Petersson, said the investigation was being closed because the main suspect, Stig Engstrom, died in 2000.
At the time of the slaying, the 52-year-old Engstrom was reportedly one of the first people at the murder scene and was briefly considered a possible suspect. He had a military background, was member of a shooting club, often worked late and had a drinking problem. Also known as the Skandiamannen because he worked in the nearby Skandia insurance company, Engstrom had a strong dislike of Palme and his policies.
Yet Engstrom’s actions on the night of the murder are unclear.
Several witnesses gave descriptions of the fleeing killer that matched Engstrom, while others said he wasn’t even at the scene. Engstrom himself claimed to have been present from the beginning, said he spoke to Lisbet Palme and police and attempted to resuscitate the victim.