The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court in Stockholm. Credit: LEIF R JANSSON / TT

Supreme Court grants retrial for man sentenced to life

Kaj Linna, who was sentenced to lifetime imprisonment for murder and aggravated robbery in 2005, has been granted leave to appeal and will have a new trial in a court of appeal.

Linna has spent the past eleven years serving his life sentence for a brutal murder in 2004 at a farm in Kalamark, near Piteå in northern Sweden. Two brothers were living on the farm, one died, while the second was seriously injured. The now 54-year-old Linna was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and aggravated robbery, and was ordered to pay damages to the surviving brother. 

Linna has all along claimed he was innocent, and after repeated attempts he has now been granted leave to appeal by the Supreme Court. He will get a new trial in the Court of Appeal for Northern Norrland. 

“It’s fantastic. This has been the aim all along, but at the same time you can’t perhaps really let go of the fact that there’s a feeling of distress about this case as it’s deeply sad,” Linna’s lawyer Thomas Magnusson told Swedish Radio. 

Part of the evidence in the case was a statement from a witness who claimed to have heard Kaj Linna say he was planning an attack on the brothers. The Supreme Court, which only takes up cases that could set a precedent, has granted leave to appeal based on new information showing that the witness has provided information that deviates from his previous statements on several counts.

"It's mainly to do with new information that has been given by the main witness in the case, information that was given by this main witness for instance to journalists lately, and which has then been referred to in this case in the Supreme Court," Councillor of Justice Anders Eka told Swedish Radio.

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