Sweden May Soon Be Closing an 'Open Wound'

Prosecutor to release findings Wednesday related to 1986 assassination of PM Olof Palme
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2020 9:50 AM CDT
Who Killed Swedish PM? The Answer Could Be Coming
A plaque honors Olof Palme near the site of his 1986 assassination in Stockholm, Sweden.   (Wikimedia/BKP)

Swedes are gearing up for what the Local describes as "one of Sweden's most highly anticipated press conferences in the past three decades." Chief prosecutor Krister Petersson, who's been investigating the unsolved 1986 assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme since 2017, is set to announce his findings at 9:30am local time Wednesday, and an unconfirmed report suggests the murder weapon has been found. Palme, a charismatic Social Democrat, was fatally shot in the back at close range as he left a Stockholm theater with his wife and son shortly before midnight on Feb. 28, 1986, per Reuters. More than 10,000 people have since been questioned in the killing. A petty criminal was convicted in 1989 after Palme's wife identified him from a lineup. But he was later acquitted and died in 2004.

"I am optimistic about being able to present what happened with the murder and who is responsible for it," Petersson said during an interview in February. The prosecutor suggested charges might not follow, leading to speculation that the killer is dead. Either way, Swedes are hoping for closure. "It is an open wound for Sweden in that we do not know what happened," Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said in February, per Reuters. The prevailing theories are that the 59-year-old Palme was killed by a lone gunman or by operatives of the South African apartheid regime over his support for the anti-apartheid African National Congress. The Guardian reports South African intelligence officials did turn over a dossier to Swedish investigators during a meeting in March. (Another theory focuses on a man with weapons training.)

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