Palme Assassin Had Getaway Aid, Police Told

Associated Press

Police said today that a taxi driver told them Prime Minister Olof Palme's assassin ran to a getaway car and was driven away.

The report from Stockholm Police Commissioner Hans Holmer is the strongest indication yet from investigators that the killer of the Swedish leader, shot in the back Friday night as he walked from a film premiere, had an accomplice.

Holmer, speaking in a news conference broadcast by Swedish Radio, also announced a $70,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Palme's killer.

The taxi driver, Holmer said, saw "a man seat himself as a passenger in a car, which drove away."

No Description Yet

The taxi driver was able to note only part of the vehicle's registration number and police do not want to provide a description of the car yet, Holmer said. He made no more specific reference to the car's driver and ended the news conference before he could be questioned about the driver.

Holmer said the reward is being offered partly because "I hope there are people sheltering or who have sheltered this man who are willing to turn him in."

Meanwhile, a laboratory specialist said local police hunting Palme's killer have failed to contact specialists at Sweden's national forensics laboratory to help identify one of the bullets fired by the assassin.

'Could Have Thrown Light'

"Had they contacted us, we could have thrown light on the situation," said Aake Aabrink, chief of the arms department at the National Forensic Laboratories.

Palme, the 59-year-old head of Sweden's powerful Social Democratic Party, was shot with a .357 Magnum revolver as he walked home with his wife, Lisbet, in central Stockholm. Lisbet Palme, 55, was slightly wounded.

Ingvar Carlsson, who had been deputy prime minister and is now acting prime minister, was chosen unanimously Monday as the Social Democrats' new leader, the post Palme had held since 1969. (Story on Page 8.)

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