Another man is now on trial for the high-profile kidnapping of rapper Nils "Einár" Grönberg in spring 2020.
The 39-year-old man is alleged to have been a driving force behind the kidnapping and to have participated in both the planning and the execution.
Several people have already been convicted of involvement in the kidnapping of the now deceased Einár. The man on trial at Södertörn District Court on Wednesday was on the run at the time. He was arrested abroad at the end of March last year.
"NN (the 39-year-old), in consultation with other perpetrators, decided and planned the acts, as well as organized and coordinated the execution of the crimes," says Ida Arnell in her statement of case in the district court.
It was in April 2020 that Grönberg, then 17 years old, was kidnapped and taken to an apartment where he was robbed of a Rolex watch worth more than SEK 300,000 and humiliating pictures were taken of him. The kidnapping was orchestrated by members of the so-called Vårby network in southern Stockholm, in collaboration with other criminal groups.
"In the Vårby judgment, they conclude that NN (the 39-year-old) had a central part in the acts," says Ida Arnell.
The evidence against the man consists largely of encrypted messages from the Encrochat communications service, which the French police and Europol managed to crack in 2020.
According to the prosecutor, the 39-year-old, who is designated by the police as the leader of another criminal network in southern Stockholm, participated both in the planning and organization. He must also have been involved in bringing Grönberg to the apartment in question and photographed him there. For that he is charged with kidnapping and robbery.
The man is also charged with attempted blackmail, when he together with others tried to persuade Grönberg to pay them three million kronor afterwards. The blackmail consisted of threats to spread the pictures taken at Grönberg.
The man was also planning to place an explosive charge at Grönberg's or one of his family members' homes, also with the aim of making him pay money. For this he is charged with preparing for public destruction, gross crime, and gross violation of the law on flammable and explosive goods.
The crimes are serious, for example, when the explosive charge was particularly high, that the blast would take place at a apartment building in a residential area and that it was aimed at a minor, says Ida Arnell in the district court.
The 39-year-old denies crime, informs his defender Joel Apitzsch.
Part of major goal
The new indictment of the kidnapping is part of a major negotiation that began several weeks ago. A total of six people are charged in the case, including particularly serious drug smuggling and particularly serious drug crime. The 39-year-old is suspected, along with several others, of having smuggled in close to 160 kg of cocaine to Sweden.
Among those previously convicted of involvement in the kidnapping are the designated leader of the Spring Village Network, Chihab Lamouri, and rapper Haval Khalil. Rapper Yasin Mahamoud was sentenced for involvement in a previously planned kidnapping attempt that did not happen.
Nils Grönberg was murdered in October 2021. The case is still unsolved.
"Nils never wanted to participate in this investigation. He was never heard in the district court, then he was tragically shot to death in autumn 2021 just before the court hearing in the Vårby case. So we have no information from him", says Ida Arnell.
Facts: Nils "Einár" Grönberg
Nils "Einár" Grönberg broke through at the age of 16 and quickly became one of the biggest names in Swedish rap. Through social media, he built up a large audience, had millions of listens on Spotify and was awarded at both the Grammy Awards and the P3 Guld Awards.
Like many of the country's best-known rappers, he had links to gang crime. During his breakthrough year in 2019, he partially lived in a residential care home and referred to guns and drugs in his lyrics.
In April 2020, Einár was kidnapped and taken to an apartment where, among other things, he was robbed and humiliating pictures were taken of him. The aim was to extort money from the young successful artist.
Several people, including two other rap artists and members of the so-called Vårby network, were convicted in February 2022 of involvement in the kidnapping.
Shortly before 11pm on 21 October 2021, Grönberg was shot dead with several bullets in a courtyard in Hammarby Sjöstad in Stockholm. The case remains unsolved