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Sweden: I Think We Have the Man

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The fruitless search for the killer of Olof Palme has been a source of national anguish for Sweden since the Prime Minister was gunned down in February 1986. Last week hopes rose that the hunt was at an end when the Stockholm District Court arraigned Christer Pettersson, 41, an underworld debt collector with a criminal record that includes manslaughter. Said deputy chief prosecutor Axel Morath: “I think we now have the man.”

Once before, in 1986, Pettersson was questioned by the Palme investigation team, which has faced numerous charges of mismanagement. But the suspect was released for lack of evidence. This time witnesses identified him as the mysterious “Grand Man” seen loitering outside the theater Palme and his wife attended the night of his death. And now Pettersson’s roommate has undermined the suspect’s alibi that he was on his way home at the time of the shooting. Swedish newspaper reports say he possessed a large-caliber weapon and limped just as the assassin was seen to do while fleeing the scene of the murder. No motive for his alleged act has been announced.

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