Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Prison threat for Swedish hate email policeman

The Local:

Prosecutor Sven-Erik Alhem has demanded that Malmö district court send to prison and fine a policeman who sent a racist e-mail to the Social Democrat council leader Ilmar Reepalu.

The 43 year old senior officer is on trial for persecution of a minority group after referring to "criminals called Mohammed from Rosengård" in an e-mail message to Reepalu and a female civil servant.

"For me, racism is when you go from criticising individual people to sweeping judgements about everyone in the same category," said Reepalu, who delivered his witness statement by telephone.

Sven-Erik Alhem said in his summing up on Tuesday that the crime was not insignificant and that the defendant had a "special platform" since he had made clear in the message that he was a policeman.

The policeman himself said that the email was written in a state of emotion and that he now distanced himself from the formulation. His lawyer, Per-Håkan Skoog emphasised that his client had no idea that the correspondence would be recorded publicly and made accessible to the press and public.

There was no intent in his actions, argued Skoog, and he should therefore be found not guilty.

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