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Fake Job Interviews: A Swedish New Crime-Fighting Technique

Published måndag 8 februari 2010 kl 19.04
The aftermath of the arsonist(s) in Gävle.

In order to nab a man suspected of arson, police in the city of Gävle invited the suspect to a fake job interview and coaxed him to confess his connection to the crime in a hotel foyer. The fake company, complete with a fake website and fake owner, was “based” in the Netherlands.

The man’s lawyer, Gunnar Falk, is highly critical of what he calls a staged interrogation. “This is not how things should be done in a law-abiding country.”

Although police suspected the man of helping set the fire—the largest in Gävle’s history—they could not find the evidence to arrest him. In creative fashion, a policeman went undercover and befriended the unemployed man, eventually offering him a job at the fake company.

“There are several serious cases of rules being breached in this case. The most significant is that the man was not told that he was suspected of a crime and therefore did not have access to a lawyer nor get informed that he had a right to refuse to answer any questions,” Falk told news wire TT.

But district prosecutor Ann-Charlotte Bålman does not think that the fake job interview classifies as an interrogation.

“We regard the entrapment to be lawful and that it was necessary to solve an especially serious crime.”

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