Europe

Olof Palme murder: Sweden replaces prosecutor

Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in Stockholm on a boat (file photo) Image copyright AFP
Image caption Olof Palme led Sweden's Social Democratic Party from 1969 until his death

Sweden has appointed a new prosecutor to head the investigation into the unsolved assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme 30 years ago.

Stockholm's chief prosecutor, Krister Petersson, will head the inquiry.

About 10,000 people were quizzed following Olof Palme's murder in 1986; 134 people claimed to have shot him dead as he left a cinema with his wife.

The charismatic Social Democratic leader was left dying in a pool of blood on the pavement.

Mr Petersson faces a Herculean task: the Palme files take up 250m (820ft) of shelving.

The mystery surrounding the death of the man who had dominated Swedish in the years before his death continues to fascinate Swedes.

The killing of Olof Palme

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Olof Palme's grave is in central Stockholm, not far from where he was shot

Mr Petersson previously investigated the 2003 murder of Sweden's Foreign Minister, Anna Lindh. He starts his new job in February, officials say.

He was quoted in the Swedish press as saying that his mission was to try to solve the murder and that he was optimistic of a breakthrough.

"I feel honoured and I accept the mission with a great amount of energy," he said in a statement. "It is an interesting and important task."

Mr Petersson also dealt with the trial of John Ausonius, who shot 11 immigrants in the 1990s - some of them using a laser sight, earning him the nickname of the "Laser Man".

A spokeswoman for Sweden's prosecution authority said he would replace Kerstin Sharp as lead investigator as she was close to retirement.

Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly said the case was being 'reopened'.

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