Transnational investigation in Swedish 'cold case': After 28 years, Francesco Rubino (Morri Rossetti) reopens a complicated international case

Francesco Rubino, Head of Morri Rossetti’s Corporate Criminal Liability Department, succeeded in reopening after 28 years the cold case of Sargonia Dankha, a 21-year-old Swedish girl who disappeared in Linköping in 1995.

After a long process of reconstructing the facts, criminal proceedings were opened in Italy, where the ex-boyfriend - the only suspect - lives.

The complexity of the Sargonia case represented an opportunity for significant cooperation between the European judicial authorities, Sweden and Italy, which led to an unhoped-for conclusion for the girl's family.

Overcoming the obstacles of the case was only possible thanks to the willingness of the Swedish Public Prosecutor's Office to share all trial findings and the willingness and sense of justice of the Italian Public Prosecutor's Office to take charge of the investigative analysis of a murder committed in another country. 

In the context of a criminal case, transnationality is always an extremely complex element as the prosecuting power of each legal system is generally of a purely national character.

The differences in the states' legal systems, both in terms of substantive and procedural law, cause many obstacles to the establishment of a criminal fact.

In this respect, progress is being made in the attempt to construct a European legal area in criminal matters, even if it is still fragile at present: the agreements on European judicial cooperation, the establishment of a European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) and the procedures for the recognition of foreign sentences are proof of this.

In this perspective of European cooperation, a network such as Eurojuris plays a key role in overcoming the obstacles that the transnational character entails in criminal matters.

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Francesco Rubino

Morri Rossetti e Associati

Piazza Eleonora Duse, 2

20122 Milano, Italy

T:+39 02 76 07 971



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