The appeals trial of convicted serial killer Peter Mangs opened in Malmö Monday.
In November the district court sentenced Mangs to life imprisonment for two murders and five attempted murders, mostly aimed at people with immigrant backgrounds.
The prosecution wants to extend the convictions to three murders and 13 attempted murders, while the defence is calling for a non-guilty verdict on all charges.
In her opening remarks, prosecutor Solveig Wollstad used a map to show where Peter Mangs, as well as his mother, lived during the period of the crimes between June 2003 and October 2010. She also took up a series of unexplained shootings in Malmö in 2009 and 2010, where with one exception all the victims had immigrant backgrounds.
She went on to describe how tips from the public led the police to Peter Mangs, the search of his apartment that uncovered keys to the home of one of the victims, as well as a loaded gun and ammunition. On a calendar, Mangs had written “Bang!” on several days.
One of Peter Mangs lawyers has asked the court for his client to be excused from Tuesday’s proceedings because he didn’t feel he needed to be there. The prosecution has objected, saying they might need to put questions to the defendant.
After a recess, the court ruled that Peter Mangs must be present during the opening remarks, but he can be excused while some recorded testimony is played. Since the opening presentations are expected to continue on Tuesday, Mangs will have to be present then.
Mangs’ other lawyer began his presentation by pointing to the long period his client was in jail before the original trial began, and the widespread media coverage. He said Mangs’name has more or less become synonymous with “serial killer”, and repeated that his client has denied committing the crimes and denied that he is a racist or a Nazi.
The defense attorney said that Mangs’ “confessions” in front of third parties should be seen as expressions of his desire to experiment with baseless claims to see what reactions they would provoke.