A 25-year old visiting Indian student has been convicted of murdering a fellow student at the University of Stockholm after having sex with her.
He is due to be sentenced by the Swedish High Court July 24. While the prosecution have unequivocally demanded that the perpetrator of the grim crime be given a life sentence, the defence have pleaded for psychiatric care and detention.
Jelena Ivanesivic's stark naked and handcuffed body was found in the cellar-toilet of a palatial mansion in Langedrag, the exclusive residential area of the Swedish west coast town of Gothenburg, April 13. She had lain there dead since Easter on Sunday, April 8.
Whilst studying at the university, Jelena worked as a live-in au pair maid to the family of magnate Thomas Dahl, managing director of the mega real estate firm Wallenstam Foretag AB. The Dahls had travelled to Mauritius a day earlier, living Jelena the run of the villa, as was their custom when travelling.
According to the forensic expert's evidence in court "the Indian student murdered Jelena by sitting on her upper body and holding her nose and mouth shut tight. She was lying dead in the cellar-toilet naked, with her hands manacled behind her back. Her death was caused by severe strangulation."
"The accused claims that Jelena was his girl-friend," the prosecuting attorney, Patrik Lindh, told IANS. "But all evidence indicates that he is either lying or fantasizing."
The Indian student admitted during trial that he strangled Jelena, but repeatedly maintained that it was not his "intention to do so."
"She was such a fine, lovely girl, why should I have killed her? She was in love with me," he said.
The post mortem established that "the Indian student after having had sexual intercourse with Jelena, with all certainty, strangled her to death."
Giving his evidence the Indian said: "Jelena invited me home to the villa in langedrag for the Easter evening where she worked. We drank beer, ate pancakes and, together, viewed the film, Borat."
"Afterwards," he continues, "we had sexual intercourse twice. Both the times with the handcuffs on. Both of us had purchased them together in order that we may have a good time."
"When we were done Jelena asked me for some money," he says. "When I told her I had none she grew furious and charged me with having raped her."
"This," he explains, "drove me mad. "And, when she began to scream I held her mouth, but not her nose, perhaps for five, ten, fifteen minutes. I cannot recall what happened then."
"He cannot be telling the truth," witnessed Jelena's best friend, during trial. "She could not have been attached to him. There is no way she could held such a thing secret from me. She told me everything...everything...even that she was a virgin."
The support in favour of Jelena is very strong and universal. Her palpably grief-stricken employer, Therese Dahl, witnessing in court said: "We had absolute confidence in Jelena. She had the full run of our house and she was an example our children looked up to."
Present in court during the trial, Jelena's family was devastated. Mamma Dusanka, elder brother Zeljko and pappa Marko Ivanesic had come from the tiny Croatian village of Ogulo, to be present at their daughter's murder trial and also "to meet her murderer eye-to-eye."
That they did amply. All of them dressed in funereal black broke down totally as they stood a meter away from him. That proved too much for him.
Banging his head on the table before him, the Indian shrieked to the judge:
"I feel very bad..very bad... I cannot stand it".
Jelena's father Marko Ivanesivic told IANS: "We hope that the murderer of our daughter will be sentenced according to his due. And, we hope with all our hearts that no one anywhere has to go through what we are doing."
While this gruesome story has dominated the headlines during the week, papers also carried the news that a Keralite, Santosh, who had attacked a Swedish couple with an axe earlier this year, disabling them for a lifetime, had hanged himself at his sister's place.