Swedish brothers accused of killing a four-year-old boy

  • Robin Dalén, 24, and Christian Karlsson, 26, were accused of killing a boy, four
  • Brothers were just five and seven years old when they killed Kevin Hjalmarsson
  • Kevin's dead body was found near a lake in Arvika in case that shocked Sweden 
  • The Swedish siblings have spoken for the first time about the case on television

By Abe Hawken and Ulf Andersson In Sweden For Mailonline

Published: 21:08 BST, 19 May 2017 | Updated: 10:06 BST, 20 May 2017

Two Swedish brothers who were accused of killing a four-year-old boy in 1998 today demanded a police apology as they spoke about the case for the first time.

Robin Dalén, 24, and Christian Karlsson, 26, were just five and seven years old when Kevin Hjalmarsson was found dead near a lake in Arvika, Sweden.

The brothers - who police believed at the time were responsible for the death of the toddler - have broken their silence on the case which shocked Sweden. 

They were not publicly linked with the death and have now spoken on a Swedish television documentary called 'Kevinfallet', which translates to 'The Kevin Case'.

Robin Dalén (left), 24, and Christian Karlsson (right), 26, were just five and seven years old when they were accused of killing Kevin Hjalmarsson, four
Robin Dalén (left), 24, and Christian Karlsson (right), 26, were just five and seven years old when they were accused of killing Kevin Hjalmarsson, four

Robin Dalén (left), 24, and Christian Karlsson (right), 26, were just five and seven years old when they were accused of killing Kevin Hjalmarsson, four

The brothers - who police believed at the time were responsible for the death of the toddler - have broken their silence on the case which shocked Sweden 
The brothers - who police believed at the time were responsible for the death of the toddler - have broken their silence on the case which shocked Sweden 

The brothers - who police believed at the time were responsible for the death of the toddler - have broken their silence on the case which shocked Sweden 

A new documentary suggests officers made mistakes during the investigation into the death of Kevin (pictured) and pressured the brothers during 30 interrogation sessions
A new documentary suggests officers made mistakes during the investigation into the death of Kevin (pictured) and pressured the brothers during 30 interrogation sessions

A new documentary suggests officers made mistakes during the investigation into the death of Kevin (pictured) and pressured the brothers during 30 interrogation sessions

Robin and Christian were questioned days after Kevin's body was found near a lake in Arvika, but only as witnesses at first 
Robin and Christian were questioned days after Kevin's body was found near a lake in Arvika, but only as witnesses at first 

Robin and Christian were questioned days after Kevin's body was found near a lake in Arvika, but only as witnesses at first 

Back in 1998, police initially thought Kevin died as a result of an accident but later questioned whether children had carried out the killing.

Robin and Christian were questioned just days later but only as witnesses to the death.

In November, Swedish Police announced the boys had confessed and killed Kevin.

However, the brothers were never named by police and were not formally convicted or prosecuted because they were younger than 15 years old.

They were taken into care and decided to speak to for the first time about the case in a three-part documentary series which is being watched by millions in Sweden.

Their involvement in the murder has always been questioned and the brothers are now hoping for a total acquittal - and an apology. 

According to Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan, the documentary suggests officers made mistakes during the investigation and pressured the brothers during 30 interrogation sessions. 

Christian Karlsson, 26, (pictured) was just seven years old when the toddler was found dead in Sweden
Christian Karlsson, 26, (pictured) was just seven years old when the toddler was found dead in Sweden

Christian Karlsson, 26, (pictured) was just seven years old when the toddler was found dead in Sweden

This is the spot in Arvika, Sweden, where four-year-old Kevin was found dead in 1998 
This is the spot in Arvika, Sweden, where four-year-old Kevin was found dead in 1998 

This is the spot in Arvika, Sweden, where four-year-old Kevin was found dead in 1998 

During the interviews, the boys typically would be quizzed without any plaintiff counsel present or parents.

The site also reports that the alleged confession from the brothers has since been doubted whether it was true or not. 

The documentary also suggests that the two boys had an alibi because another family had visited their family when the murder took place. 

Mr Karlsson, the older brother, said: 'They have taken years of my life that I will never ever get back. 

'Now a new chapter begins, one can finally settle down. I do not need to be afraid anymore.' 

His brother, Mr Dalén, added: 'Should anyone come up today and ask, "Are you involved in this case with Kevin?", Then I can answer "yes". 

'You get p***** off, angry and disappointed that it's possible for something like this to happen.' 

Rolf Sandberg (pictured) was the head of the police investigation into the death of Kevin in 1998 
Rolf Sandberg (pictured) was the head of the police investigation into the death of Kevin in 1998 

Rolf Sandberg (pictured) was the head of the police investigation into the death of Kevin in 1998 

A TRAGIC TIMELINE OF KEVIN'S DEATH 

August 16, 1998: Kevin's grandfather finds his dead body on Church Bay beach in the Dottevik area of Arvika. He had been missing for several hours.

August 22, 1998: The father of Christian, seven, and Robin, five, tells the police they have important information related to his death. 

Late October: After questioning the two brothers without a lawyer or their parents present, the police determine they must have been Kevin to death

November 1998: The police held a press conference to say Kevin was killed when the boys were playing and it 'got out of hand'. The boys who killed him were handed over to social services.

April 2017 (19 years later): The Daily News paper launched a review of Kevin's case ahead of an SVT documentary also about his death.

May 4, 2017: Lawyer Tomas Olsson, representing the brothers Robin and Christian, now 23 and 25, announces the investigation into Kevin's death is to be re-opened.

May 8, 2017: Public Prosecution Office in Karlstad says investigation has been resumed.

On the same day, SVT and Dagens Nyheter news outlets reveal flaws in the previous investigation, including a statement from a key witness that alleged the brothers were not there when he was killed.  

Their mother, Annika Dalén, said: 'It's terrible, shocking. Tough to handle and I feel violated, like a brick in a game that got an enormous significance in the end.'

The prosecutor has said that a decision about a pre-trial investigation into the brothers will be made in the autumn. 

Jerzy Sarnecki, a criminologist, said the brothers have been subjected to a 'very serious abuse of the rule of law' - even if they are proven guilty. 

He also said that what happened to Kevin is unlikely to ever be found out.

Mr Dalén, who is hoping for a total acquittal, added: 'If I am cleared of these charges, then I have gotten my reparation. 

'Then I would also like to have a public apology from Rolf Sandberg and the rest of the police officers who were involved.' 

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