• Sweden edition
 
Riksdag to probe US embassy surveillance

Riksdag to probe US embassy surveillance

Published: 23 Nov 2010 15:58 GMT+01:00
Updated: 23 Nov 2010 15:58 GMT+01:00

The Swedish Riksdag’s constitutional committee has announced that it will look into what current and former cabinet ministers knew about the US embassy in Stockholm's surveillance of people in Sweden.

According to Green Party spokesman Peter Eriksson, who also serves as chairman of the Riksdag's constitutional committee (Konstitutionsutskottet - KU), the Swedish Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten), and the Ministry of Defense would have known about the surveillance.

Both the ministries of justice and defence could be called to the KU to testify.

"We will conduct a review now," said Eriksson.

The KU will conduct its review in the spring even though there is an ongoing preliminary investigation into the matter, referring to the news on November 8th that chief prosecutor on security issues, Tomas Lindstrand, had decided to launch a preliminary investigation into illegal intelligence activities.

"We will not wait for other investigations. I expect that we will complete our investigation in the spring," Eriksson told news agency TT on Tuesday.

Both former and present defence and justice ministers from over the last 10 years may be called to testify, Eriksson said.

Former Social Democratic defence minister Leni Björklund has said that she was not aware of the Ministry of Defence having any knowledge about US surveillance in Sweden while she served as minister.

"I have not heard anything about this or received any presentation of reports on it," she told TT.

Current justice minister, Beatrice Ask, has said that she was not aware of the US surveillance. Earlier this month, she confirmed that the US embassy in Sweden has undertaken similar secret surveillance measures since 2000 that have also occurred in Norway and Denmark.

In response, the US embassy in Stockholm admitted that it, like other US embassies, has a programme to detect suspicious activities around its facilities as part of normal security precautions to ensure the safety of staff and guests, but challenged the initial claims made in Norway.

Norway's TV2 originally reported that the US embassy in Oslo had conducted illegal surveillance on hundreds of Norwegian residents over the past decade. Similar allegations were aired a day later by a Danish commercial broadcaster.

The US has always maintained that it informed the Swedish authorities about its activities.

According to newspaper Dagens Nyheter, the Social Democratic government had received information as early as 2002 on the US embassy's Surveillance Detection Unit (SDU), which the embassy described as "a programme designed to detect surveillance against US posts overseas."

This was clear from classified documents from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to the newspaper.

Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has declined to comment on the document on the grounds of the ongoing preliminary investigation.

Eriksson's claims that both the Swedish Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence were aware of the surveillance were denied by Sofia Krigsman, a political expert for Minister of Defence Sten Tolgfors.

"The Ministry of Defence had no knowledge of any such activities," she said.

TT/The Local/vt (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

02:43 November 24, 2010 by waffen
The best thing that Sweden can do is to close the United States embassy in Sweden and kick the corrupt bums out.

The Swedish people do not need them in Sweden spying on them like they do on their own citizens in the United States.

Sweden is a democracy with a strong social contract with their people.

The United States is an Oligarchy, with a stong contract on their people made doubly so with the abysmal Republicans in power again for the rich only.

However, that is the United States' problem.

Just get rid of them and get them out of Sweden.
05:17 November 24, 2010 by mathdean77@yahoo.com
i spit in your face, haha
05:54 November 24, 2010 by ericrufinosiah
In Europe now,it is peaceful and suddenly,a few countries are very serious about

other country putting up surveillance on it's Embassy in their country,and they

talk about not respecting the host country's rights and etc.These countries have

forgotten that in WW1 and WW2 if not for the United States of America what the current situation would be.?
07:30 November 24, 2010 by calebian22
So not gathering information about "Swedes" who are casing the US embassy will make Sweden a safer place to live? If the target of the US is removed from Sweden do any of the naysayers above think that these radicals will just let Sweden be at peace? Why because liberal morality of secular Sweden is so inline with radical Islam? Don't be naive.
08:15 November 24, 2010 by RobinHood
# Caleb

Too right. It's in Sweden's interests, as much as the USA's, and the rest of the world's that every embassy in Stockholm is properly protected. The US embassy is under scrutiny now, but every embassy in the world has its own discrete security; some of which probably wouldn't bear up under a public examination. Blind eyes are wisely turned because it's in everybody's interests (except terrorists) to do so.

Too read some of the comments on this subject makes me wonder whose side some posters are on? Those that wish to cause terrible harm to us all, or those that are trying to stop them. "Naive" is the right word.
14:15 November 24, 2010 by pjtaipale
waffen:

>The Swedish people do not need them in Sweden spying on them like

>they do on their own citizens in the United States.

>

>Sweden is a democracy with a strong social contract with their people.

Somehow I think I've heard that line before. Wait a minute... yes:

http://www.nknews.org/

Do not let your people to travel to undemocratic places like the US, and remain as hostile as possible. Guaranteed to give you freedom, peace and prosperity. Just like in DPRK.
Today's headlines
Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden
Michael Boatwright (R) and Medieval knight re-enactors.

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden

The "motel mystery" American who baffled US authorities by only speaking Swedish when he woke up from a coma last year has passed away, Swedish media reported on Wednesday. READ () »

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king

UPDATED: Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits. READ () »

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop
TeliaSonera CEO Johan Dennelind. File photo: TT

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop

Stockholm-listed telecom operator TeliaSonera on Wednesday said profits had fallen in the first quarter, but hoped offering customers more data solutions in the future would turn things around. READ () »

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'
Fredrik Reinfeldt. File photo: TT

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Wednesday urged young voters to head to the European parliamentary polls on May 25th "to cure the European disease of nationalism". READ () »

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg at the first quarter press conference. Photo: TT

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson on Wednesday announced a drop in sales but posted a sharp rise in first-quarter profit, which nonetheless fell shy of analyst predictions. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping brawl
Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals

Swedish police fear that several people involved in a brawl in eastern Sweden on Monday night may be seeking revenge after two brothers were shot dead. READ () »

Sponsored Article
Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden
The town of Västervik.

Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden

Ask a Swede, and they are likely to say that their favourite holiday spot is in the southeast of Sweden. Eastern Småland and Öland offer a smörgåsbord of all the things dearest to the Swedes - from the beloved children's book author Astrid Lindgren to deep forests, long sandy beaches, perfect spots for that all-important 'fika', and a surprising amount of space, peace and quiet. READ () »

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth
Swedes enjoy hot dogs and cherry blossoms in Stockholm's Kungsträdgården. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth

The sun is set to stick around and temperatures could climb into the twenties over the weekend, Swedish meteorologists said on Wednesday READ () »

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

A 21-year-old man confessed on Wednesday to sex crimes against eight children at a day care where he was working as an intern. READ () »

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles
An unrelated bodybuilder. File photo: Ann Törnkvist

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles

Police in Sweden's south who hauled a muscular man in for steroid testing have had their knuckles rapped, after it was ruled that big biceps cannot be grounds for narcotics suspicions. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Advertisement:
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

719
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com