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Suspect Once in Fascist Group That Labeled Palme 'Madman'

March 18, 1986|Associated Press

STOCKHOLM — News reports today said the man identified by police as a prime suspect in the assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme once belonged to a right-wing group that had called Palme a "madman."

According to the Stockholm newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, in 1984 the suspect was registered as a member of the European Workers Party, known by its Swedish initials EAP, whIch the paper described as a fascist organization.

The paper said it found the suspect's name on a list of 1,800 party members, registered at the Swedish Tax Revenue Department before 1984 parliamentary elections. Parties must register at least 1,500 signatures to participate in the elections.

The Swedish news agency TT said the European Workers Party newspaper, New Solidarity, once described Palme as a "madman, a mentally deranged murderer" and a "furious beast."

The party has existed in Sweden since the early '70s. Party defectors have told of brainwashing and harassment.

The suspect, has not been identified by officials or in the Swedish news media in accordance with Swedish law. However, sources have identified him as Victor Gunnarsson, and gave his age as 32.

Chief prosecutor K. G. Svensson asked the Stockholm magistrate's court Monday for permission to hold the suspect for further investigation. (Story, Page 7.)

The mass-circulation daily Expressen today reported that Palme's wife, Lisbet, failed to identify the suspect in a lineup at police headquarters on Monday.

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