The Palestinian man convicted of firebombing Gothenburg’s synagogue last year could still face extradition after Sweden’s prosecutor general announced plans to take his case to the Supreme Court.
Feras Alnadim, 22, was jailed for two years after being found guilty of throwing a Molotov cocktail at the building on December 9.
But there was outrage from Israeli diplomats and Sweden’s Jewish community after an appeals court overturned Alnadim’s deportation order, saying he may be the target of reprisals from Israel were he to return to Gaza.
The case now looks set to be taken up by the Supreme Court after the prosecutor general found “there is no reason to presume that the man would be subjected to the death penalty, torture or any other inhumane treatment upon returning to Palestine,” a statement released on Thursday said.
Aron Verständig, the president of Sweden’s Jewish Central Council, said this was an important and rare decision.
He wrote on his Facebook page: “The fact that the prosecutor-general chooses to appeal a verdict to the Supreme Court, that only happens a few times per year. We are now looking forward to a new hearing in the highest instance and with a different verdict.”
The 22-year-old Palestinian, who had been granted a temporary residence permit in Sweden but whose asylum application was rejected in 2016, was sentenced for the firebombing in June by a district court, along with one other Palestinian and a Syrian.
The attack on Gothenburg synagogue took place while a group of Jewish youths holding a Chanukah celebration in the premises.
Around ten masked men reportedly participated in the attack, which took place during a weekend of protests with antisemitic overtones following US President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States would recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The appeals court’s decision to overturn Alnadim’s deportation order put it at odds with the state-run Migration Agency, which insisted it was entitled to expel him after his sentence was completed.
A spokesperson told Swedish media that the agency did not believe expelling the man would go against the principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits states from expelling asylum seekers to a territory in which they would be in likely danger of persecution or discrimination.
The statement issued on Thursday by the Swedish Prosecution Authority said the prosecutor general concurs with the Migration Agency’s evaluation.