It was when the police raided the man’s home in search for weapons, earlier this summer, that they discovered plans to assassinate leading personalities in the country. Along with a cache of weapons, the police found a homemade attaché case built to hold a pistol that could be fired through pulling a trigger on the handle.
In the man’s computer, the police also recovered lists of people, thought to be a hitlist of potential targets. On the lists were two journalists along with their home address and other information.
While the prosecutor sought to convict the man for the preparation to commit murder – a crime that could potentially render 18 years in prison – the court found those charges incomplete and chose to convict only for illegal possession of firearms.
“We’re happy that the authorities are taking threats to journalists seriously and pursuit tough penalties, said Jonathan Lundqvist, president of RSF Sweden. Even if the prosecutor was unable to prove intent to murder journalists in this case, it’s an important signal. At the same time it shows that extremist movements are now considering journalists to be legitimate targets. That should worry us all.”
Sweden is ranked 2nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index.