08:22 GMT07 April 2020
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    Three men accused of raping a woman in Sweden and broadcasting the crime live on Facebook are set to face trial.

    Two of the men are Afghan nationals; the third is a Swedish citizen. They’ve been charged with concealing the assault and with defamation for streaming it. 

    Though investigators were able to obtain video and still images from the incident, they have not been able to find the sequence actually showing the alleged rape, despite requesting it from Facebook.

    The lawyer for the one of the Afghan nationals, an 18-year-old, has said that the court should have received the footage before charging his client. 

    "It's unfortunate that the charges come before the prosecutor has received the part of the film he asked to get from Facebook in the US. My assessment is that the district court would have a much better basis to make its judgement of what really occurred if they waited for the film," he said, according to The Local.

    Pontus Melander, chief prosecutor for the Uppsala district court, on Wednesday defended the decision to bring the charges, telling reporters that "police have carried out a thorough investigation." 

    Though prosecutors don’t have the specific film sequence they’ve sought, there are still eight witnesses claiming to have seen part or all of the attack. The alleged victim also had her injuries confirmed by a doctor.

    Josefine Lundgren, 21, notified the authorities after seeing the video in a closed Facebook group of roughly 60,000 members, telling Expressen that the three men, “tore off her clothes and lay down on top of her," with one of the perpetrators mockingly telling the victim, "You have been raped."

    The woman was nearly unconscious at the time of the attacks, according to witnesses, and one image shows the men holding what appears to be a revolver.

    After police arrived, the men claimed the woman had not been raped, but were still arrested just before the stream ended.


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    charges, Livestream, Rape, Facebook, Uppsala, Sweden
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