Police, ambulance and emergency services were called out to Östra Göinge’s Municipal Hall on May 15th. A 36-year-old man had poured gasoline on himself and threatened to set himself alight. He says he didn't want to hurt anyone else. None of the witnesses thought he was threatening. But he could have caused an explosion.
The trial against the 36-year-old started on Wednesday in Kristianstad's District Court. Deputy Chief Prosecutor Eva Norberg believes that the 36-year-old is guilty of preparing to commit arson and that he should be deported from Sweden permanently.
The suspect denies the charge. He didn't want to harm anyone other than himself. That's what his lawyer Björn Attnarsson says.
- He did not have any intention of hurting other people or someone else's property. He did not realise that his actions could lead to this. This is why he denies the charge, says the lawyer.
The 36-year-old came to Sweden with his family two years ago. In April, their application for asylum was refused; the decision has been appealed to the Administrative Court. The suspect has felt very bad, says his lawyer.
“I didn't perceive him as threatening, but as a human being who didn't feel good at all. He just wanted to have contact with someone and talk to someone," says a witness.
This is why a man stepped into the Municipal Hall in Broby with a can of petrol and a lighter on May 15th. He poured petrol over himself and in a nearby room. He said he would set himself alight several times.
Two witnesses gave their testimonies on the first day of the trial. One of them said:
- I realised he was a man who didn't feel good at all. He just wanted to have contact with someone and talk to someone. He said he wanted a job and that he was going crazy, says one of the witnesses who tried to calm the 36-year-old down.
Caption: It was May 15th that the 36-year-old poured petrol over himself and threatened to set fire.