Swedish suspect prefers prison time in Romania over Sweden due to coronavirus

A Swedish woman suspected of tax fraud and arrested in Romania following an international arrest warrant issued by her country has appealed to the Supreme Court not to be extradited to Sweden; she further requested to serve her sentence in a Romanian prison if a court finds her guilty.

Swedish citizen Linda-Kristina Dragan-Tisater was arrested in Bucharest on April 8, after Sweden issued an international arrest request on March 10. She stands accused of not declaring some of her income, a tax fraud that falls under roughly the same category in both Sweden and Romania.

At her extradition hearing, Dragan-Tisater’s lawyer asked that the woman not be handed over to Sweden but tried in Romania, adding that if convicted, she wanted to serve her sentence in Romania. She explained her request by saying that she did not want to return to Sweden because the country hasn’t implemented any lockdowns to halt the spread of the coronavirus and that she felt that she would be more exposed to infection there.

The judges, however, were of the opinion that the argument that her life would be in great danger if extradited was not substantiated, since in her place of residence – the Romanian capital of Bucharest – the number of coronavirus cases is the highest in the country and the healthcare system is under extreme stress.

According to the latest count, Romania (with a population of around 20 million) had 9,242 coronavirus cases while Sweden (10.23 million) had 15,322. The casualty count is also much higher in Sweden at 1,765 compared to 498 in Romania.

The Supreme Court will make a ruling in the extradition case this week.

Title image: With no quarantine or lockdown measures in place, life goes on as usual in Stockholm, Sweden.

Author: Dénes Albert