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Danish war veteran to be held indefinitely for murdering parents

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Danish war veteran to be held indefinitely for murdering parents
Flowers left outside of the house of the suspect's parents. File photo: Bo Amstrup/Scanpix
15:09 CEST+02:00
A Danish court on Wednesday ordered a 43-year-old former soldier to be held indefinitely for the murder of his parents.
The war veteran was arrested last summer on charges that he murdered his parents and then stored their bodies in his car. He also faces charges of improper conduct with his parents' corpses.  
 
The 43-year-old has been held in Sikringsafdelingen, Denmark's only secured psychiatric ward, since his arrest and the Randers City Court on Wednesday declared that he will remain there indefinitely. 
 
Upon his arrest, the man was diagnosed as “acutely mentally ill or in a similar state”.
 
Police say that the man killed both of his parents in their home in the town of Uggelhuse near Randers. He allegedly struck them numerous times in the head and body with an axe before then wrapping their bodies in plastic sacks and blankets and putting them in his vehicle. 
 
The former soldier has admitted to killing his parents, but according to press reports following his arrest, he appeared confused and upset at his initial court appearance. 
 
The 43-year-old is reported to have suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after his active military duty. He served in Bosnia during the 1990s Yugoslav wars.
 
In court this week, the man said that he felt as if his parents were trying to run his life. 
 
“They had an idea that I was a soldier with PTSD, that I should receive a pension and help them to put their house in order,” he said, according to news agency Ritzau. 
 
The man said that tensions within the family came to a head in July of last year. He said his father was holding an axe when the former soldier took it by force and then struck his parents. He then cleaned their house and put the bodies of his parents in plastic bags that he stored in their vehicle. He was arrested a few days later. 
 
Experts testified in court that the former soldier was clinically insane at the time of the murders and that he continues to suffer from psychosis. 
 
The 43-year-old said in court that he understands that he is mentally ill and that he will likely need treatment for the rest of his life. 
 
The Randers City Court decision on Wednesday means that the man will continue to be held in Sikringsafdelingen and that within five years the court will reconsider his mental state. If he is still deemed to be in need of psychiatric care at that point, additional evaluations will then be made every second year. 
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