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Man who fatally stabbed Swedish minister claims he faked mental illness

Mijailo Mijailovic, 32, convicted of killing Anna Lindh in 2003, claims he faked mental illness in an attempt to avoid a prison sentence.

Candles surround an image of the late Anna Lindh after her murder in 2003..
Candles surround an image of the late Anna Lindh after her murder in 2003..
Image: PRESSENS PRESSENS BILD/PRESSENS/Press Association Images

The man who killed Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh in 2003 has told a newspaper that he faked mental illness during his trial in an attempt to get a less severe sentence.

Mijailo Mijailovic was quoted by daily Expressen as saying that his knife attack on Lindh in a Stockholm department store was motivated by a hatred of politicians, whom he blamed for his own failings in life.

His earlier claim that voices in his head had encouraged him to stab Lindh was a ploy to receive psychiatric care instead of a prison sentence, the 32-year-old told the Swedish newspaper.

“I was rambling to get psychiatric care. Everything was made up. I didn’t hear voices,” he was quoted as saying. “The more you ramble, the more the doctors listen to you. But there are doctors who are difficult to fool, and there are those who are easy to fool.”

Mijailovic stabbed Lindh — one of Sweden’s most popular politicians at the time — inside the Stockholm department store NK in September 2003. She died a day later.

An appeals court sentenced Mijailovic to psychiatric care, but the Swedish Supreme Court later overturned the ruling and gave him life in prison.

In the interview, Mijailovic said only days before Lindh’s murder he had considered attacking Lars Leijonborg, then-leader of Sweden’s Liberal Party, during a rally.

“I believed politicians were the root of all evil,” he told Expressen. “Afterwards, I realised that it was weak to blame one’s own problems on politicians.”

Mijailovic also said he had taken the sedative Flunitrazepam, or Rohypnol, before the killing.

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