Briton facing violence charges over protests at EU summit

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The Independent Online

A British man suspected of being a ringleader during the disturbances at the EU summit in Gothenburg appeared in court yesterday charged with violent rioting and assault.

Paul Robinson, 32, was arrested on Friday at the height of the demonstrations and running battles with police, which left one protester in hospital with serious gunshot wounds.

He was remanded in custody until a further hearing on 29 June while police continued to investigate his role in the riots in protest at the Council of Europe summit.

Mr Robinson, from London, was injured during the protests but Foreign Office officials who visited him in prison yesterday said he was recovering. No other Britons have been detained. The Swedish authorities said they did not believe British anarchist groups were involved at a high level in the organised rioting, but declined to comment on Mr Robinson's case.

Police said the main protesters were from Germany, Holland, the Baltic States and Scandinavia.

The officer investigating the riots in Gothenburg, Superintendent Ronald Bahhe, said: "We have one big group here who were responsible for most of the violence. [They are] the anarchist group AFO, the Anti-Fascist Organisation, which has about 400 members."

He said about 600 people out of 25,000 protesters were involved in the rioting and police had so far arrested 100 of them. Supt Bahhe said: "It is totally the worst violence we have seen in Sweden. We have never had something like this ever before, it is really terrible."