Neo-Nazis on trial over Kärrtorp attack
The trial began this morning for seven of the nazis who attacked a peaceful demonstration in the Stockholm suburb of Kärrtorp last year.
On the 15th of December several hundred Kärrtorp residents had gathered in the town square to protest against racism, and nazi propaganda that had been spreading in the area.
About 40 right-wing extremists showed up and began attacking, with glass bottles, firecrackers and sticks. Around 30 people were arrested and today the trial against seven of them began. They stand accused of violent disorder.
Three of the around 30 accused are said to be behind the attack. One of them, 29-year-old Emil Hagberg, is seen as the leader of the nazi Swedish Resistance Movement (SMR). Another two are seen as "groupleaders."
Another man, active in anti-fascist circles, will be prosecuted for stabbing one of the nazis with a knife.
Security for the trial is very high.
"Because the situation in Kärrtorp was so bad, we must be prepared for things to get bad here too," Stockholm Police press spokesman Kjell Lindgren told news agency TT. But he emphasized that there have been no concrete threats.
Radio Sweden's Ulf Bungerfeldt was inside the courtroom and said that the trial started nearly an hour late because of the security and that police are taking no chances.
This morning in the trial, prosecutor Tove Kullberg attempted to demonstrate that the attack was planned and showed several text messages to support this.
One text read:
"I want everyone to call around today and try to get people to the demonstration on Sunday. Make sure to do it now."
Another text read:
"Mouthguards and scarves, just like in the good old days."
Ulf Bungerfeldt talks about the most remarkable evidence brought forth by prosecutors: a 15 minute video from the midst of the chaos, showing the throwing of firecrackers, spreading smoke and anxious police attempting to keep the two groups separate. People yelling "Seig Heil" and "Adolf Hitler."
Bungerfeldt said that the film gives the prosecutor a lot of fuel for their case. He points out that the video shows clearly that a large group of people went to attack the anti-nazi demonstration in Kärrtorp.