Court of appeals decision: Can't speak Swedish, criminal charges dropped

Göta’s court of appeals made significant decision this week with preliminary ruling which states that if suspect can’t speak or understand Swedish language, it will be a reason for dropping the criminal charges.

This was the case with 43 years old Jordanian man. Man moved back to Jordan but forgot the mention to the officials this small detail. With this he kept collecting over a year’s time single parent’s alimony, housing benefits, child benefits and parental benefits. Money kept coming to this man’s bank account even he was living in Jordan over a year. All and all this Jordanian collected 236 867 krones (about 24 000 euros) while living back in Jordan.
This case was revealed to the officials with some how and fraud investigations began. Case went to the court eventually.
District court of Kalmar decided that man was set to be free and the charges were dropped. Court based the decision to the fact that man couldn’t speak or understand Swedish language well enough and therefore he didn’t understand the laws of the land and it’s obligations. The ruling stated that man didn’t understand to inform Försäkringskassa (The Social Insurance Institution) the changes on his life’s and family situation. Man needed interpreter while applying these benefits.
Prosecutor complained the decision to the court of appeals where the ruling stayed the same.
Interesting detail with this case was the fact that the man was seeking Sweden’s citizenship even he couldn’t speak any Swedish.
-Juhani Berg

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