Sweden rejects appeals to reopen probe into premier’s 1986 murder

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Stockholm  -A Swedish chief prosecutor on Wednesday said there were no grounds to reopen the preliminary investigation into the 1986 murder of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme.

Lennart Gune had considered several appeals lodged against the June decision to close the long-running probe, but he did not find grounds to reverse the decision, a statement read.

Palme was gunned down in central Stockholm on Feb. 28, 1986, minutes after he and his wife, Lisbet, had left a cinema. He was 59.

The shocked Sweden and triggered a huge manhunt.

However, the investigation was fraught mistakes from the outset.

In June, Chief Prosecutor Krister Petersson named a deceased Swedish man as the chief suspect in Palme’s murder.

Since the suspect was deceased he could not bring charges, meaning an end to the probe.

The suspect, identified as Stig Engstrom, died in June 2000.

Engstrom worked as a graphic designer at insurance company Skandia, which had offices adjacent to the murder scene.

He had worked late on the evening Palme was shot.

Petersson said several witnesses placed Engstrom at the scene, citing how he was dressed at the time.

Petersson said he could not offer details of Engtrom’s motive, but noted that he mixed in circles strongly critical of Palme.

No murder weapon has been found.

Investigators have considered numerous scenarios since 1986, and about 130 people have confessed to the crime.

Palme’s late widow, Lisbet, picked a petty criminal, Christer Pettersson, from a police line-up as the murderer. He was sentenced in 1989 to life in prison but was later acquitted on appeal.