Lindh's knifeman keeps silent on attack

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The confessed killer of the Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh refused to answer any more questions on the second day of his trial in Stockholm yesterday. Mijailo Mijailovic remained silent as prosecutors pressed him on the internal voices he said told him to attack Ms Lindh in September.

Earlier, Ms Lindh's former press secretary told how their shopping trip turned to tragedy and plunged Sweden into shock and mourning. Eva Franchell said she and Ms Lindh were shopping for clothes for the minister's scheduled television debate that day before a weekend referendum on the euro, when she saw Mr Mijailovic approach them.

"He ran - rushed rather - at high speed directly at Anna," Ms Franchell said. "He pressed her against the clothing rack. It almost looked perverse the way he was pushing against her." Ms Lindh then sank to the floor, Ms Franchell said. "How are you, old girl?" she recalled saying. "She tells me she has been stabbed and I looked down [at] her stomach, how blood is oozing out."

On Wednesday, Mr Mijailovic, a 25-year-old Swedish citizen of Serbian origin, admitted in court that he fatally stabbed Ms Lindh, acting on voices in his head, but said he did not mean to kill her. On Thursday, he sat in silence, staring down at a plain wooden desk, as prosecutors pressed him on details.

His lawyer, Peter Althin, said Mr Mijailovic was too exhausted to talk. "Yesterday he answered all the questions, from the court, from the prosecutors," Mr Althin said. "Today he just couldn't because he had no more power in him."

The second day concluded after a closed-door session involving secret information pertaining to a psychiatric screening after Mr Mijailovic's arrest. Mr Althin is expected to request a complete psychiatric examination when the trial continues with closing arguments on Monday. If the panel of two judges and three politically appointed jurors rules that Mr Mijailovic is suffering from a severe mental illness, he would be sentenced to psychiatric care instead of prison.

Mr Mijailovic has three previous convictions, including one for a 1996 stabbing attack on his father, who survived.