Swedes may be about to learn who killed their prime minister.
The investigation into Olof Palme’s 1986 murder -- a political mystery with few parallels -- has been run by prosecutor Krister Petersson for the past three years. He’s due to reveal his findings on Wednesday, and has already made clear he’ll either press charges against a suspect, or drop the case.
When Petersson took on the assignment, few believed he would fare better than his long list of predecessors. But recently, he started dropping tantalizing hints to suggest he may have figured out what happened.
“This is important for the entire country," Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said. “It is a wound that has never healed."
Palme’s murder was a defining moment in Swedish history. The national trauma that followed was only made worse by a botched police investigation that led nowhere. There’s been no end of documentaries, conspiracy theories and articles surfacing at regular intervals as Swedes have tried to make sense of the case.
In 1989, Christer Pettersson -- a local man with a history of crime -- was convicted of Palme’s murder. He was subsequently acquitted, and has since died. The episode was followed by a period of rampant speculation, including a theory that Palme -- a Social Democrat with an aristocratic background who helped build Sweden’s welfare state -- was killed by right-wing extremists within the police force. Meanwhile, more than 100 people have claimed responsibility for the murder.
Palme’s assassination took place shortly before midnight on Feb. 28, 1986. The killer approached the prime minister and his wife on a quiet street corner as they were walking home after a visit to the cinema. The gun -- a .357 Magnum -- was never recovered.
But according to local media, police have now found the weapon. Krister Petersson, the prosecutor, has only gone on the record to say that he’s uncovered new technical evidence.
The investigation, which had been set to end in 2011 before Sweden’s parliament removed the statute of limitations, has produced records that fill 250 meters of shelf space.
Meanwhile, a 50 million krona reward ($5.4 million) for anyone able to provide enough information to solve the case has yet to be paid out.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.