Pastor’s mistress “remembers” new evidence

There can’t be a much trickier job in Sweden at the moment than being a judge in the Knutby Appeals hearing. An absence of evidence means they are unusually dependent upon the testimonies of the defendants, witnesses and experts. And unfortunately none of them seem to be able to agree.

On Monday the court trekked out to the pastor’s old villa in Knutby. To the bathroom, to be precise, where Pastor Helge Fossmo’s first wife died of an injury to her head in 1999.

Fossmo and his defence lawyer claim that his wife’s death was the result of a fall, and indeed the court in the original trial found him not guilty of her murder. But the prosecutor believes that the fall itself could only have come about as the result of a violent blow.

In trial #1 the experts were as divided as the lawyers. On Monday, surrounded by court officials, lawyers, and media representatives, Professor Olle Nilsson squeezed into the small bathroom and, with the help of a woman of a similar size to the pastor’s first wife, made his point once again.

He demonstrated how, in his view, it was completely impossible for the woman to have hit her head on the taps and caused such a serious injury to the skull without the ‘help’ of another person.

But according to Expressen the pastor’s lawyer. Ola Nordström, felt that the professor’s demonstration backed up the case for the defence: “It is impossible that an attack caused the skull injuries she had. The space doesn’t allow it.”

That was all relatively straightforward compared to the fog of Wednesday’s session. The man who was with Fossmo when he found his wife dead in the bathroom – who is believed by the prosecutors to be key to proving that the pastor killed her – managed to irritate the pastor’s lawyer with his vague and contradictory answers.

“Try now, will you,” said Ola Nordström. “You are a witness and can’t sit there rambling on. You will tell what you remember.”

When he did, the pastor’s lawyer pointed out that “in the district court you said precisely the opposite.”

But this was just the warm-up before the main attraction: Åsa Waldau, the Bride of Christ, alleged leader of the congregation and, according to Helge Fossmo, the true manipulator in the whole affair.

She described the difficult days after the murder of her sister, the pastor’s second wife.

“It was chaos. I haven’t had time to feel that she is gone,” she said. “I just wait for her to walk in. ‘Sanna’ was like my little daughter.”

The pastor’s lawyer then asked Waldau if she thought the pastor was possessed by demons.

“He is a very dangerous man,” she replied. “Very spiteful. I don’t know if he is sick. Whether he is driven to evil by the devil or by his own will, I don’t know.”

But what the tabloids wanted to know was, were the pastor and the Bride of Christ lovers? Was he really her sex slave? Apparently the pastor’s lawyer wanted to know that too.

“I was not in love with Helge,” said Waldau.

“You deny all reports of erotic contacts,” replied Ola Nordström. “Is that one of the points on which Helge has slandered you?”

“Of course it’s one of the points,” she said.

Last up for the week was the pastor’s former mistress, the wife of Daniel Linde, the neighbour who was shot by Sara Svensson on the night of the murder. She surprised the court with two ‘new’ memories of events leading up to the murder.

First, she alleged that Helge Fossmo told her that “something could happen around new year – it will go with a bang, anyway”. Then she claimed that the pastor said, “If something happens before Christmas you won’t play the hero – keep out of the way until it blows over.”

Pretty damning stuff – but the pastor’s lawyer was unimpressed and wondered aloud if she was telling the truth.

“Yes, in everything,” replied the woman. “I’m sorry that I didn’t remember this before. I’m only human.”

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Expressen, Stockholm City


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
The Local, Sweden
Oct. 14, 2004
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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday October 15, 2004.
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