Woman locked up in bunker by Swedish doctor demands damages

STOCKHOLM -- A Swedish doctor who admitted to abducting a woman and locking her up in a home-made bunker had planned the crime for years and may have tried to capture other victims, prosecutors said as the trial started Monday.

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Prosecutors and defence lawyers gave opening statements in the Stockholm district court before proceedings continued behind closed doors.

The 38-year-old man, whose name wasn't published in Sweden in line with privacy rules, has admitted to sedating the woman, abducting her and locking her up for almost a week in a soundproofed bunker he built inside a machine shed next to his home. He denies charges that he also raped her.

The victim's lawyer Jens Hogstrom told newspaper Expressen that his client was traumatized by what happened and deeply stressed by having to face the doctor in court.

Hogstrom said she is demanding 380,000 kronor ($44,000) in damages. That isn't an unusual amount in Sweden, where damages are much lower than in, for example, the United States.

Prosecutor Peter Claesson told reporters that the defendant had planned to abduct someone for several years. He said a parallel investigation was ongoing to find out whether the doctor had attempted to capture other women.

"That cannot be ruled out," Claesson said.

Defence lawyer Mari Schaub has said her client is deeply regretful and that he abducted the woman because he was sad and lonely and "wanted a partner."

A psychiatric examination found he wasn't suffering from a severe mental illness.

The doctor allegedly made contact with the victim by phone and met her once before he abducted her from her apartment in Stockholm on Sept. 12 after giving her sedative-laced strawberries, champagne and juice. He kept her inside the bunker until Sept. 18, when he took her to a police station, allegedly to assure police that she was fine. Police officers got suspicious and arrested him.



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