Three men in Norrbotten, in the north of Sweden, were sentenced on Friday to serve a year or more in prison for hunting crimes.
At the end of last summer, police arrested five men, suspected of having tortured bears, lynx and a wolverine to death. Besides the three to serve prison time, two of the men have been served a suspended sentence and community service.
One of the men is 74-years-old, and he was convicted of aiding and abetting serious hunting crimes concerning the bear, as well as serious weapons crimes and breaking regulations governing protection of species. He'll serve a year in prison, a sentence that the Luleå district court writes was lowered due to the man's age and health problems.
News agency TT reports that four of the men are reindeer herders in areas managed by Sami. Every year, many reindeer calves are killed by predators, and the policy towards predators has long been a sensitive issue.
The men have all denied committing the crimes.