Sweden: Deported criminals can return without risk

A legal loophole may make it possible for deported foreign criminals to return to Sweden without risk of arrest, Sydsvenskan reports. A case involving a Danish citizen who returned to Sweden despite being deported in 2003 will now be decided in the Supreme Court.

The 31-year-old Danish man, convicted of several crimes at Malmö District Court in 2003, was forbidden to return to Sweden for a period of 10 years. Having served his sentence however, he ignored the ban and was later rearrested for assaulting a woman in the southern Swedish town of Osby, Sydsvenskan writes.

Police discovered that the man did not have permission to enter the country and he was prosecuted for unauthorised residence. It was at this point however that a bureaucratic slip by the justice department was detected. Nobody at the department had supplied a provisional regulation as is customary when a new law replaces an older version, Sydsvenkan explains.

Since the man was arrested under the 1989 Aliens Act and there was no provisional regulation in place his case was not covered by the new Act, drawn up in 2005. Hässleholm District Court convicted him of assault but could not enforce the charge of unathorised residence.

The case was then referred to the Court of Appeal in Malmö. the court regretted the bureacratic error but added that it was not the law's intention to open up the borders to deported criminals. The court this time ruled against the Dane. But he appealed.

The Supreme Court has now agreed to take up the case. Sydsvenskan concludes that if the Supreme Court agrees with the original verdict reached at Hässleholm District Court it could provide carte blanche for all criminals deported under the old law to return to Sweden without running the risk of arrest.

Source: The Local (English)

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