Sweden to Test German Murder Suspect′s Mental Health | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 26.08.2008
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Sweden to Test German Murder Suspect's Mental Health

A German woman accused of the gruesome murders of two small children in Sweden in March has been ordered to undergo psychological testing, hinting that a guilty verdict is imminent.

A court artist's drawing of the defendant

Christine S. is charged with the brutal slayings of two Swedish children

A Swedish court has ruled that a German woman, charged with beating two small children to death, should undergo a psychological evaluation. Christine S., a student from Hamburg is also accused of attempting to murder the children's mother.

"Convincing evidence has been presented to show [the accused] is guilty of murder and attempted murder in accordance with the charges," the Vaestmanland court, west of Stockholm said in a statement, according to the AFP news agency.

"In order to determine if there are medical grounds to sentence [the defendant] to penal psychiatric care ... or if she committed the acts while affected by serious mental illness, the court orders a psychiatric evaluation of (her)," it added.

Motivated by jealousy

The 32-year-old defendant stands charged with "using a hammer or a hammer-like object" to bludgeon to death a 3- year-old boy and his 1-year-old sister on March 17 in the small Swedish town of Arboga, and attempting to kill their 23-year-old mother, Emma Jangestig.

Prosecutor Freida Gummesson told the court that jealousy was the motive, according to German news agency dpa. Jangestig is the live-in companion of a man S. once dated.

The prosecution argued during the trial that the defendant. "had not got over the split from (him), still had feelings for (him) and was hurt that (he) was living as a family with Emma Jangestig and her children.

The accused denied all wrongdoing during the trial, which has dominated headlines in Sweden and Germany since its start on July 30. She told the court she had been in Arboga at the time of the murders to visit archaeological sites. Legal experts said the outcome of the trial remained open, noting that there was no DNA evidence linking the accused.

The court on Tuesday said there was a risk that S. would flee, and therefore ordered her continued detention until a verdict is given. No date has yet been set for the verdict, but a court clerk told AFP that it would probably take several days or a week.

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