Sweden: Kurdish-Swedish politician arrested for murder plot

Batti was born in Syria, but grew up in Turkey, near the Iraqi border. HE came to Sweden from Turkish Kurdistan as a political refugee in 1985, and became a citizen in 1987.

He's been active in the Kurdish community in Sandviken and Sweden and participated in protests against Saddam Hussein and the attack against Halabja in 1988.

In newspaper articles and protests Batti has expressed his dissatisfaction with the Swedish refugee policies, which he thinks is inhumane. He said it was like a lottery whether one would get a residence permit or not.

In 1995 his son (then 26) and family was threatened with deportation. His son was registered in Turkey as a suspected PKK supported and was in jail in Turkey for 8 months. The family was however allowed to stay in Sweden. Last year Batti fought for his daughter, Iyan Batti, who left the PKK, so she could come and live in Sandviken. She was given a residence permit.

A large part of Batti's family now lives in Sweden including his mother, six children and grandchildren. He's been politically active in Sandviken since 1990. He's also owned a chain of restaurants and today manages a financial counseling firm.

According to Batti's family the dispute in question regards upkeep payments for a young boy, and is between the relatives of the boy's mother and relatives of his father. The boy's mother was sentenced by a court to pay for her son's upkeep when she divorced, but she didn't do so.

The situation got worse in May, when three relatives of the mother showed up at two relatives of the father to settle the dispute. On April 28th Batti and two men of the other family got into a fight, after which Batti called his 26 year old relative and told him to finish things up with the other family.


Battal Batti, a prominent local Social Democratic politician from Sandvik in east central Sweden, was remanded in custody on Sunday on suspicions of plotting an attempted murder and interference in a judicial matter, according to local media.

Batti is being held for probable cause, which is a higher degree of suspicion.

He is suspected of having ordered his 26-year-old nephew to stab two men in early May in order to settle a dispute with another family, reports the Gefle Dagblad (GD) newspaper.

The suspicions against Batti came to light last Thursday during questioning in a district court where his nephew, along with two other of Batti's relatives, have been charged with attempted murder.

At the conclusion of the hearing, chief prosecutor Mikael Hammarstrand decided that the politician should be arrested.

Batti denies any wrongdoing, but Hammarstrand said the politician's behaviour during initial questioning contributed to the decision to keep him in custody.

"Battal Batti doesn't give a good impression. He is unfocused and would rather talk about something other than what I want to talk about. He has difficulty explaining why a person so close to him would lie," Hammarstrand said to GD.

Hammarstrand added that there may be technical evidence linking Batti to the crime which he feared the politician might destroy were he to remain free.

The prosecutor refused to elaborate on what the evidence might be, however.

Sources: The Local (English), GD (Swedish)

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