Published 22 March 2023 at 14.10
Law & Justice. The Bar Association was right when it excluded the former lawyer Catrin Listad, the Supreme Court announced in a judgment today.
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Catrin Listad had a relationship with the twelve-year-younger leader of a criminal immigrant group in Gävle and was also a public assistant for the gangster in court.
She also helped him with hotel stays, travel and mobile phone and rented an apartment for the gang leader.< /p>
According to the preliminary investigation against the man, he also allegedly sold Listad's Rolex watch to buy weapons – and posed with drugs and ammunition in her apartment.
– I love him, explained the lawyer in police interrogation .
The drama thickened further in February when it emerged that Catrin Listad's Arab husband and his relatives were in custody for having planned to kill the gangster leader.
Catrin Listad was expelled from the Bar Association in June 2022. The association's disciplinary committee considered that she had neglected her duties as a lawyer and the circumstances were deemed extremely aggravating. According to the board, by taking on a task as public defender for a person with whom she had a close personal relationship, she had, among other things, seriously breached the requirements of independence and integrity that are placed on a lawyer.
Catrin Listad however, appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which now determines that the exclusion was correct.
She stated in HD, among other things, that the relationship had only been “sporadic” and that the assignment in question had in practice been “very limited”. Under all circumstances, the circumstances should therefore not lead to exclusion from the Bar Association, she believed, and instead wanted a milder disciplinary measure in the form of a warning or other punishment.
According to HD, the assignment as a public defender is a trust assignment that – especially due to the connection to the fact that there is a criminal suspicion – places special demands on the lawyer's independence and integrity in relation to both the suspect and the general public.
“If the defense attorney has a close personal relationship with the suspect, the defense attorney typically does not maintain this independence. The risk is striking that the defense attorney takes irrelevant considerations. It cannot therefore be accepted – except in extremely exceptional cases – that a lawyer has an assignment as public defender for a person with whom the lawyer also has a close personal relationship,” writes the court and continues:
“By taking on the role of public defender for a person even though they had a close personal relationship, the lawyer did not maintain the requirement of independence and integrity. The assignment concerned a case of very serious crime and the lawyer resigned the assignment only after just over a month after a prosecutor pointed out the impropriety of her holding it. The Supreme Court considers that this action and certain other circumstances cause the lawyer to be disqualified from the Bar Association.”
Despite the inappropriateness of the situation being pointed out by a prosecutor, resign dde Didn't list the assignment until after a month. HD considers that this and other circumstances justify exclusion from the Bar Association.