Appeal to the Court of Appeal in high-profile synthetic trachea case

Published: 6/29/2022 9:24:07 AM

Director of Public Prosecution Mikael Björk, in consultation with Chief Public Prosecutor Jim Westerberg and Senior Prosecutor Karin Lundström-Kron, has today appealed the verdict of Solna District Court (16 June 2022) in the case where a former surgeon at Karolinska University Hospital was prosecuted with aggravated assault of three persons who had received synthetic trachea implants.

The defendant was sentenced in the District Court to a conditional sentence for causing bodily harm in one of the cases. The prosecutors request, in the appeal of today, that the defendant be sentenced to imprisonment for three counts of aggravated assault or, alternatively, for causing bodily harm, aggravated offence. Even if the Court of Appeal accepts the District Court's assessment of the question of guilt, it is requested that the sentence will be set at imprisonment.

“I consider that the defendant has been guilty of risk-taking of a serious nature in respect of all three injured parties. In all cases, the interventions were contrary to science and best practice. Furthermore, a wide range of circumstances clearly show that the interventions were research, as demonstrated by the evidence we have adduced. It seems clear to me that these have been completely unlawful human experiments and the penalty should be a long prison sentence, given the nature of the crime and the high penal value,” says Director of Public Prosecution Mikael Björk.

According to the District Court's assessment, the judgment is based in its entirety on the necessity clause of the Penal Code. This is opposed by the prosecutors.

“In our view, the three injured parties were not in danger within the meaning of the Penal Code. In order for an act to be considered necessary for the elimination of the danger, it should reasonably be required that the act in question can eliminate the threatening danger with some degree of probability. A completely unproven method involving the replacement of a vital organ with a plastic tube cannot be said to be of this kind,” says Chief Public Prosecutor Jim Westerberg.

“I consider that the evidence adduced overwhelmingly supports the conclusion that in none of the three occasions there was a reasonably imminent danger that the three plaintiffs would die. One of many clear examples of this is that there was plenty of time for the synthetic tracheas to be manufactured in the UK and the US and then transported to Sweden for the planned operations," says Senior Prosecutor Karin Lundström-Kron.

Case number in Solna District Court: B 10553-18.

It is The Svea Court of Appeal that decides when the main hearing starts.

The prosecutors are not available to the media.

The appeal (in Swedish) 

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