Sun, Sep 07, 2008 - Page 6 News List

Ailing woman locked up for years

CABIN FOR NINE YEARS Taken to hospital, where she was in serious condition but doing better, the woman weighed between 35kg and 40kg when she was found

AFP , STOCKHOLM

A 58-year-old man was remanded in custody on Friday on suspicion that he held a woman suffering from multiple sclerosis captive in a tiny cabin in southern Sweden for nine years, media reported.

A court in the southern town of Eksjoe ruled that the man should be detained on suspicion that he imprisoned his girlfriend from 1999 until last month and had abused her since 2000, the TT news agency reported.

Police said earlier on Friday that the man had been arrested on Wednesday for having locked the woman, “between 55 and 60 years old,” in a 15m² cabin in the southern Esjoe region “from 1999 until the end of August this year.”

The victim was taken to hospital “in serious condition, but is doing better, in light of the circumstances,” local police spokesman Johan Frisk said.

Unconfirmed reports said that the woman was suffering from multiple sclerosis, a disease that affects the nervous system and reduces physical mobility.

Reports said she weighed only between 35kg 40kg when she was found.

Neither she nor her captor were identified, although Frisk said they were both Swedes.

Reports, however, said the name the man had given to police belonged to a person who died eight years ago.

“It is never good when you don’t know who you’re dealing with. We are working hard to determine the man’s identity so we can investigate his background,” Frisk told Swedish public radio late on Friday.

The man’s defense lawyer, Uno Karlsson, told TT that the question of his client’s identity would soon be resolved, pointing out that a person can be declared deceased if they disappear for a long period of time or at the request of a family member.

Karlsson also said that his client, who denied any wrongdoing, was disappointed that he had been remanded in custody, but would submit to a requested psychological evaluation.

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