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24 Years On: Police Still Looking for Palme Murderer

Published måndag 1 mars 2010 kl 14.35
Former Swedish PM Olof Palme, assassinated in 1986

Late last night, on the 28th of February, but 24 years earlier, the then Swedish prime minister Olof Palme was walking home through the streets of Stockholm from the cinema with his wife Lisbet, when he was shot dead by a lone man.

Olof Palme died immediately. The killer was never caught and the gun - a .357 Magnum Smith&Wesson revolver - has never been found.

The inquiry into the murder of Olof Palme was supposed to be terminated next year, since the time that anyone can be prosecuted for murder in Sweden normally expires after 25 years.

But early this year, the Swedish parliament decided that for serious crimes - such as murder, serious breaches of international law, genocide and terrorist crimes - the time for prosecution will never expire.

Stig Edqvist, leading the police enquiry into the Palme murder is pleased about the change in the law. He says he thinks the need for the change is self-explanatory for all murders really, but of course also for this murder.

And Edqvist and his team works on, even though the public has pretty much given up hope that there will be a breakthrough after all these years.

The number of suspects have been many. From the Kurdish guerilla PKK, South African Agents, people within the Swedish security police and then Christer Pettersson.

Pettersson - a social outsider and an alcoholic with a criminal record - was convicted at a district court, but freed by a court of appeal, and later died in 2004.

The police inquiry into the Palme murder is the biggest and most expensive in the Swedish history, and there are still 12 policemen and women working with the case, albeit most of them part time.

According to their boss, Stig Edqvist, they still get tips every day, but most of them lead no-where.

He says that most of the time it is about things that already have gone through earlier in this very vast investigation, but every now and again they act on tips and check them out.

The reward of up to 7 million US dollars for tips that lead to a conviction for the murder is still on offer, but Stig Edqvist admits that the chances the case will be solved are very very slim.

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