Sunday 8 December 2019

Breivik's Swedish trailblazer denies murder charges

Peter Mangs has pleaded not guilty of three murders and 13 attempted murders over a seven-year period. Photo: Reuters
Peter Mangs has pleaded not guilty of three murders and 13 attempted murders over a seven-year period. Photo: Reuters

THE Swedish man cited as an inspiration by Norwegian killer Anders Breivik has pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder and a further 12 charges of attempted murder.

On the first day of his trial, Peter Mangs' lawyer said he denied the shootings and admitted only to a lesser charges of damaging property by shooting at two signs with his Glock pistol.

The 40-year-old was arrested in November 2010 after a manhunt for the gunman who had terrorised the immigrant population in the southern city of Malmö, carrying out more than a dozen shootings starting in November 2009.

Police have since linked Mangs to two further murders carried out in 2003.

At the start of his trial last month, Breivik praised Mangs for the attacks he is alleged to have carried out.

"It is important that more patriots in Europe assume responsibility like I did, and like men like Peter Mangs in Malmo did," he said.

"They are all perfect foot soldiers for nationalist rebirth. Europe needs more great heroes like them." In her opening address, Malmö prosecutor Solveig Wollstad played a recording of Mangs' reaction when he was first contacted by police on the phone, and detailed the weaponry and other evidence police had found when they raided his Malmö flat, including a Glock pistol, a silencer, a combat vest, bullets, knives and more.

Police also found a book on the 'Laser Man', Sweden's most famous serial killer, who shot 11 people in Stockholm and Uppsala in 1991 and 1992, using a laser sight on his rifle.

There was also a recording Mangs had kept of a call he made to the police in 2003, in which he tried to pin a shooting from 2003 on a neighbour.

Mangs, dressed in a white shirt and jeans, and his head shaven, remained calm and silent throughout the opening session in the trial.

Two of Mangs' friends have told police in interviews that he had bragged about killing immigrants.

"It was me who hit that monkey," Henrik Sundberg, a fellow Aspergers sufferer, remembered Mangs saying after press reports of one of the shootings.

After another, he said, "That damn monkey, he got what he wanted."

Mr Sundberg said Mangs then threatened to kill him if he told the police.

When police analysed Mangs' computer, they found lists of immigrants, criminals, and prominent Jewish Swedes.

The trial is scheduled to last for 24 days. If he is convicted of murder, Mangs faces between 10 and 18 years in jail.

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