Palme Suspect Unsure of Events
Nov. 11, 1999
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ The main suspect in the 1986 death of Prime Minister Olof Palme has renewed controversy by saying he was uncertain what happened that night but acknowledging he could have killed the leader.
``I don't have a guilty conscience. I don't believe I did it, but I could have done it,'' Christer Pettersson said in a television interview broadcast Thursday night.
In the interview, Pettersson said he was ``uncertain about events'' the evening of Feb. 28, 1986, when Palme was shot and killed while walking home from a movie theater with his wife, Lisbeth.
A Swedish forensic psychiatrist, professor Lars Lidberg, said in the broadcast that Pettersson has a brain injury that impairs his memory, and he could have murdered Palme without remembering the event.
``He suffers from a type of brain damage that could cause a kind of mental agitation where he wouldn't remember what occurred,'' Lidberg said.
A lower court convicted Pettersson, a former convict with a history of drug and alcohol abuse, but the sentence was overturned. The Supreme Court turned down an attempt to reopen the case earlier this year.
Prosecutor Solveig Riberdahl, who was part of the team that tried to prosecute Pettersson again, said his remarks were interesting, but added that ``even if he confessed, it would not be enough for a conviction.''
Police and prosecutors have said they need the murder weapon to secure a conviction.
During the television broadcast, Pettersson was escorted by a reporter along the same route the Palmes walked that evening.