Trial begins for restaurant double murder case
The criminal trial of eight young men, accused of involvement in a double murder at a Biskopsgården restaurant last year, begins Monday at the Gothenburg district court. According to news agency TT, the trial is among the court's biggest.
Pär Lundström who works at the court told Swedish Radio P4 Gothenburg that the trial will take place in two, video-linked chambers with the defendants and their families in one room and the plaintiffs and journalists in the other.
Counting plaintiffs, defendants, lawyers, prosecutors and security staff, the district court has to accommodate over 70 people, which is why they've decided to split the trial across two different rooms. The decision means that the plaintiffs and the defendants will never see each other eye to eye.
Last March a restaurant at Vårväderstorget in the neighborhood of Biskopsgården was filled with guests watching Champions League soccer on TV when two masked men rushed in and started shooting with automatic weapons. Two people were shot and killed, and eight people were injured.
Seven of the eight suspects grew up in Biskopsgården while the eighth man, a Danish citizen, joined the gang at a later stage. Of the eight men standing trial five of them are accused of murder. All of them deny that they were involved in the shootings.
The prosecutors consider both the patrons of the restaurant and its staff as victims because they were at risk of being shot. For that reason 16 people who were not physically injured have been called to testify about their experience.
The trial is expected to take two months and will involve the testimony of some 30 witnesses including members of the public and the police.