Lynx in a tree with snare around the neck.
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An image of a lynx snared in the tree. The image comes from footage found on one of the suspects' mobile phones. Credit: Polisen/TT
Lynx in a cage in the snow.
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A lynx that has been caught and is kept in a cage. Footage found in the mobile phone of one of the suspects. Credit: Polisen/TT
A trap.
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One of the traps confiscated by police, from one of the suspects. Credit: Polisen/TT

Five men on trial for illegal hunting

Reporter: The animals seem to be suffering, in pictures and videoclips
5:36 min

Five men are on trial in Luleå in northern Sweden, suspected of illegally hunting and killing of four bears, three lynx and one wolverine.

The case is said to be this biggest of its kind ever in Sweden.

The animals have either been shot, or caught in traps or snares. Five of the animals are reported to have been tortured to death. Prosecutor Christer Jarlås tells Swedish Radio that they have seen several similar cases over the past few years, but they never went to trial due to lack of evidence.

"If I compare it to other cases that we have had in the past, there is now significantly more concrete evidence in this case than we have had perhaps ever before," Jarlås said.

Wire-tapped phones were central in the police investigation, which last summer lead to some 50 police officers intervening simultaneously at several localtions, arresting the five suspects and searching their homes, hunting huts, garages and cars for evidence. As the case now opens in court, the prosecution relies on recorded phone-calls, pictures and footage of the trapped and dead animals, text message conversations, confiscated illegal weapons, snares, traps and dog collars outfitted with GPS.

The five stand trial on a total of 23 counts of suspected aggravated hunting offences, handling illegal goods, and weapons crimes. They all deny any wrong-doing.

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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