Prosecutors close probe into Swedish PM murder, suspect dead

STOCKHOLM (AFP) – Swedish prosecutors said yesterday they had closed their investigation into the 1986 murder of prime minister Olof Palme as their main suspect, a Swede known for his opposition to Palme’s leftwing policies, was now dead.

Palme was killed on February 28, 1986, after leaving a Stockholm cinema with his wife Lisbet to walk home, having dismissed his bodyguards for the evening.

An unidentified attacker shot Palme in the back and fled, leaving the 59-year-old dying in a pool of blood on the sidewalk.

More than 10,000 people have been questioned over the years, and 134 people have confessed to the crime.

“We can’t get around one person as the perpetrator. He is Stig Engstrom,” Chief Prosecutor Krister Petersson told reporters, referring to a man dubbed “the Skandia man” in Swedish media because he was working late in the Skandia building near the scene on the night of the crime.

“Because he is dead, I can’t press charges against him, and have decided to close the investigation,” Petersson said.

A flower lies on a memorial plaque showing the place where Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was shot dead in February 1986, in Stockholm, Sweden. PHOTO: AP