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Life sentence upheld for German murderer of Swedish kids

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Life sentence upheld for German murderer of Swedish kids
Christine Schürrer at the appeal proceedings. Photo: DPA
12:18 CET+01:00
German woman Christine Schürrer has had her life sentence upheld by the Court of Appeal for the murders of two young children in Arboga, Sweden last year.

The Court of Appeal also served Schürrer with a permanent deportation order and ordered her to pay damages of 100,000 kronor ($11,800) each to the children's parents, Swedish news agency TT reported.

Schürrer, 32, was convicted in October by Västmanland District Court of murdering three-year-old Max and his one-year-old sister Saga, and then attempting to kill the children's mother, 23-year-old Emma Jangestig, at the family's home in Arboga on the evening of March 17th 2008.

Schürrer had been in a relationship with Jangestig's then boyfriend, Torgny Hellgren, and according to prosecutors Frieda Gummesson and Johan Fahlander, her obsession with her ex-boyfriend served as the motive for the killings.

The Court of Appeal did not entirely dismiss Emma Jangestig's testimony, as was the case with the district court. The appellate court considered certain memory fragments to be reliable, such as Jangestig's firm belief that she had been attacked by a woman.

Investigators were never able to tie Schürrer to the crime scene with physical evidence. Instead, prosecutors based their case on strong circumstantial evidence. The appeal court agreed that the overall evidence was sufficient to secure a conviction.

The appeal court determined, for example, that Schürrer had lied about her reasons for visiting Arboga the night of the murders and that she had access to a hammer that has not been found.

She also supplied incorrect information about a missing pair of shoes whose soles matched the patterns on footprints found at the scene of the crime.

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