Swedish man found guilty of murder, planning to kill politician

Police officers escort the apprehended male suspect after a woman was seriously injured in a stabbing at the Almedalen political festival at Visby, on Gotland island, Sweden July 6, 2022. TT News Agency/Henrik Montgomery via REUTERS

STOCKHOLM, Dec 6 (Reuters) - A Swedish court on Tuesday found a man guilty of murdering a woman and of planning to kill a senior politician at a festival in July, and ordered that he be taken into psychiatric care.

The 33-year-old Swede was arrested on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland moments after he had stabbed to death a prominent psychiatrist in a crowded square during Sweden's annual Almedalen Week political festival.

The murder took place close to where Centre Party leader Annie Loof had been due to hold a news conference.

The Gotland district court said the killer, Theodor Engstrom, had mapped Loof's agenda and was planning to murder her. It said this amounted to preparation of a terrorist crime.

"Sweden could have been hurt in a serious way if the crime had been carried out. The 33-year-old has said his intention was to hit back at the Swedish population," Judge Per Sundberg told a news conference.

Engstrom pleaded guilty to murdering the psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren, but rejected charges related to Loof.

He was assessed as having had a serious mental disorder at the time of the attack.

Reporting by Anna Ringstrom, editing by Terje Solsvik and Crispian Balmer

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