Trial of woman charged with 'disturbing the peace of the dead' begins

27 November 2012 - 18:12 By Sapa-dpa
This undated police handout photo made available on November 20, 2012, shows a human skull in a freezer in the apartment of a 37-year-old woman in Gothenburg, southern Sweden. The Swedish woman was charged with possession of human skulls and bones, which the prosecution claimed she used for sexual purposes. The 37 year-old woman kept at least six skulls, one spine and
This undated police handout photo made available on November 20, 2012, shows a human skull in a freezer in the apartment of a 37-year-old woman in Gothenburg, southern Sweden. The Swedish woman was charged with possession of human skulls and bones, which the prosecution claimed she used for sexual purposes. The 37 year-old woman kept at least six skulls, one spine and "a large number of other bones" in her Gothenburg apartment, according to the prosecution's charge sheet.
Image: AFP PHOTO / SCANPIX SWEDEN / HO / SWEDISH POLICE

The trial of a Swedish woman charged with "disturbing the peace of the dead" by hoarding human skeletal parts for sexual use began on Tuesday in Gothenburg.

The trial of a Swedish woman charged with "disturbing the peace of the dead" by hoarding human skeletal parts for sexual use began on Tuesday in Gothenburg.

"This is the strangest case I ever had to deal with," prosecutor Kristina Ehrenborg-Staffas said at trial's opening, reported the Goteborgs-Posten daily.

In September, police found six human skulls, a human backbone and a large number of other bones, including femurs, in the 37-year-old's flat in a suburb of the west coast city of Gothenburg.

Some skeletal parts were kept in a freezer, others were used for sexual gratification and therefore the woman was "guilty of treating the dead in an offensive and unethical manner," Ehrenborg-Staffas said last week.

The woman has denied the charges, arguing that she bought the skeleton parts over the internet because of an interest in history and archaeology.

In her flat, however, investigators found digging equipment, body bags and instructions on how to open graves. Forensic tests suggested the bones were at least 45 years old.

The woman could face a maximum two-year jail term or a fine if convicted.

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