Police cars in Austria, File photo: Fayad Mulla/TT
Police cars in Austria, File photo: Fayad Mulla/TT

Phone chat evidence against teen charged with terrorism

"They cannot prove she is a member of a terrorist organization"
3:21 min

The chat logs in her mobile phone are the Austrian prosecutor’s strongest evidence against a Swedish teen accused of terrorism, Swedish Radio News reports.

The prosecutor says she was chatting with people connected to IS.

It was last month that the 17 year old’s parents in Linköping alerted the police that their daughter had been radicalized and had left Swedish. She was detained shortly afterwards at a train station in Vienna, on suspicion of planning to join IS, a crime which carries a prison sentence of several years in Austria.

The girl’s lawyer, Wolfgang Blaschitz, says the case against his client is based on her chat logs. He says his client has never met any of those she communicated with personally, and she denies the accusations. She says she was on her way to Turkey, but changed her mind once she arrived in Vienna, and was planning to return to Sweden when she was detained by the police.

“In her phone they have possibly found signs of sympathy for radical Islamic ideas,” Wolfgang Blaschitz tells Swedish Radio News. “But that isn’t enough evidence to prove she is a member of a terrorist organization.”

While new legislation is on the way in Sweden, the teen is not suspected of violating any current Swedish laws. Instead, there’s an investigation here into whether the girl is the victim of trafficking to serve in a conflict. There was only one complaint for that unusual crime here last year, and none the year before.

So while the 17 year old is under suspicion for committing a crime in Austria, she is s suspected victim in Sweden. The social services in her hometown of Linköping say they are prepared to take care of her should she be found not guilty when her case is heard in Vienna in about a month. The trial is scheduled for February 25.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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