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Somali-Swede sentenced to life for murder of pregnant girlfriend in Sweden

Wednesday June 5, 2024

Mohamedamin Abdirisek Ibrahim (left) was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his seven-months-pregnant girlfriend, Saga Forsgren Elneborg (right), in a case that has deeply shocked Sweden.

Stockholm, Sweden (HOL) —  A 22-year-old Somali-Swede, Mohamedamin Abdirisek Ibrahim, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his seven-months-pregnant girlfriend, Saga Forsgren Elneborg.

Forsgren Elneborg, 20, was found dead in her Örebro apartment on April 29, 2023. Her body was discovered by her mother, covered by a marble slab and with a lamp cord wrapped around her neck. The baby boy she was carrying also died in the attack.

The Örebro district court found Ibrahim guilty of murder on Tuesday, concluding that the crime was "honour-related." Prosecutors argued that Ibrahim, unable to face the shame of telling his conservative Muslim family about his relationship with Forsgren Elneborg, chose to kill her instead.

State prosecutor Elisabeth Anderson described the murder as "a cold and calculated act meant to preserve Ibrahim's and his family's honour." The court supported this view, with court president Lars-Gunnar Lundh noting the robust evidence presented.

During the trial, it was revealed that Ibrahim and Forsgren Elneborg had kept their relationship secret from his conservative Muslim family. Text messages showed that Ibrahim initially urged Forsgren Elneborg to have an abortion, fearing his family's reaction. Despite this, Forsgren Elneborg decided to keep the child and was excited about becoming a mother.

On the night of the murder, Ibrahim was supposed to reveal his relationship and Forsgren Elneborg's pregnancy to his family. Forsgren Elneborg, optimistic and supportive, sent him messages of encouragement. "It'll be fine," she wrote, reassuring him. However, Ibrahim never had a conversation with his family. Instead, he went to Forsgren Elneborg's apartment and, according to the court's findings, murdered her to avoid the shame and dishonour he believed the pregnancy would bring upon his family.

State prosecutor Elisabeth Anderson described the murder as a premeditated act rooted in a desire to preserve family honour. "His actions extinguished two lives in a bid to maintain his and his family's honour," Anderson stated. The court was presented with extensive circumstantial evidence, including Ibrahim's DNA under Forsgren Elneborg's nails and testimony from a friend who claimed Ibrahim had asked her to harm Forsgren Elneborg to induce a miscarriage. This friend later recanted her statement, leading to a perjury charge against her.

The court also considered text messages between Ibrahim and Forsgren Elneborg, revealing Ibrahim's increasing anxiety and reluctance to face his family with the truth. In his final message to Forsgren Elneborg, Ibrahim wrote about his fear and hesitation, which tragically culminated in the brutal killing that night.

The Örebro district court, led by court president Lars-Gunnar Lundh, found Ibrahim guilty of murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment. The court concluded that the crime was honour-related, a factor that significantly influenced the severity of the sentence. "The prosecutor has shown through robust evidence that the 22-year-old murdered his pregnant girlfriend and that the fetus in the womb died as a result. The murder was honour-related, which the court considers an aggravating factor in assessing the penalty value," Lundh stated.

During the trial, Ibrahim maintained his innocence, claiming that Forsgren Elneborg had been killed in a gang-related incident. He suggested that a gang ambushed her in the apartment, but the court found no evidence to support this claim, dismissing his alibi and convicting him based on the compelling circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution.

The sentencing has brought some measure of closure to Forsgren Elneborg's family, though the pain of their loss remains profound. "It has been a long and painful wait for justice," the family said through their lawyer. The case has also ignited a broader discussion in Sweden about honour-related violence and the need for greater protection for individuals caught in such situations.

Despite the life sentence, Ibrahim's defence lawyer, Soren Abbaszadeh, has announced plans to appeal the verdict. "My client maintains his innocence, and we will be seeking to overturn the decision on appeal," Abbaszadeh told Swedish broadcaster SVT.

Ibrahim's mother, Istar Yusuf Nuh, expressed her disbelief and sorrow over the incident. She stated that she would have welcomed Forsgren Elneborg into the family regardless of her religion or the circumstances of the pregnancy. "I would have been happy to become a grandmother, especially a young grandmother," she said, reflecting on what could have been a moment of family joy.


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