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World Leaders Mourn Slain Swede

Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson steps up on the podium next to a portrait of slain Foreign Minister Anna Lindh to make a speech during the memorial service in the Stockholm City Hall Friday Sept. 19, 2003.
AP
With intensive security surrounding them, dignitaries from around the world honored slain Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh Friday as a diplomat without peer whose concern for democracy and equality showed no bounds.

As 1,300 guests gathered inside the Stockholm City Hall for the 90-minute private memorial held by Lindh's Social Democratic Party, prosecutors were behind closed doors seeking to convince a judge to order the 35-year-old Swedish man arrested for her killing kept in custody for another week. A decision was expected later in the day.

Prosecutor Krister Peterson said investigators sought the order because they have reasonable grounds to suspect him in Lindh's murder.

They also considered him a flight risk and believed he could interfere with the investigation.

Gunnar Falk, the suspect's lawyer, denied the man was involved in Lindh's killing.

Before the hearing was closed, the suspect was brought into the courtroom, escorted by four prison guards. He wore blue trousers and his head and chest were covered by an orange jail-issue blanket.

He didn't speak or face the crowd before the hearing at the police headquarters closed.

If the judge approves the request "then we will get one more week to investigate," prosecutor Ola Sjoestrand told The Associated Press.

Lindh, 46, was touted as a future prime minister of the Scandinavian country of 9 million. She was stabbed in the chest, stomach and arms Sept. 10 as she shopped at Nordiska Kompaniet department store. After hours of surgery, she died the next day.

Inside the red-bricked room of City Hall, where the annual Nobel Prize banquet is held, guests including European Commission President Romano Prodi, former chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix and Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf, sat before a grand staircase that served as a stage and heard eulogies from Prime Minister Goeran Persson, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and EU External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten.

"We shall carry the memory of Anna with us as an invisible treasure from which to gather strength," a moved Persson said.

Lindh, the Swedish foreign minister from 1998-2003, maintained a wide circle of contacts in the diplomatic community and was often a high-profile presence at international conferences and meetings.

Papandreou, who lived and studied in Sweden, called Lindh a diplomat without equal and decried her death.

"We politicians don't always take time to put words to our emotions, but you were an exception," he said in fluent Swedish. "You dared to be sincere."

As he stepped down from the staircase landing, he placed an olive branch in front a large photo of her to accompany a single rose.

Calling Lindh "a woman who loved the world and who was loved by the world," Patten said she was unusual among diplomats.

"Anna had no problems in using ethics and foreign policy in the same sentence," he said.

Security around the event was intensive with canal locks closed, private flights banned and hundreds of armed police, including some plainclothes officers. In the waters surrounding the building, patrol boats moved backed and forth. Police snipers were stationed atop neighboring buildings.

The security was in marked contrast to the day Lindh was stabbed, as she shopped with a friend in a store without any bodyguards. Her killing brought back memories of Prime Minister Olof Palme, shot and killed in 1986 as he walked home from a movie with his wife. Like Lindh, he had no bodyguards.
Police have received the results from DNA testing that could link the 35-year-old drifter in custody to Lindh's slaying, but wouldn't say if it matched genetic material found near the crime scene.

A separate private memorial service was held at the store where Lindh was stabbed. A store spokeswoman said the giant mound of flowers and handwritten cards left in front of the store by grieving Swedes would be moved to City Hall Saturday morning.

On Friday morning, grieving Swedes were still signing condolence books, leaving messages of remorse to Lindh's husband and two boys.