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Swedish government keeps quiet on US agents

Swedish government keeps quiet on US agents

Published: 24 May 2011 15:19 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 May 2011 15:19 GMT+02:00

The Swedish government has declined to comment on Monday’s revelation in the Swedish press that the Swedish Security Service (Säpo) had exposed two American undercover agents in Sweden in 2009.

“The ministry of justice is continuously briefed on the activity of the security services. There are also routines and regulations on how the other parts of the cabinet are informed. But we will not comment on if, how and when the ministry of justice is briefed in an individual case,“ minister for justice, Beatrice Ask, wrote in a statement.

According to foreign minister Carl Bildt, the foreign ministry has not been briefed by Säpo, which sometimes happens regarding the behaviour of foreign diplomats.

“This case has not been dealt with at the foreign ministry,” Bildt told news agency TT.

If Säpo finds foreign diplomats in breach of Swedish law they can turn to the foreign ministry to have them pronounced persona non grata by the ministry and forced to leave Sweden.

“But this has not occurred in this case,” Bildt said.

According to Social Democrat head Håkan Juholt, the opposition will be briefed by the government in the advisory council on foreign affairs next week.

“I think that is good. It is important that the government will give us information and that we have a chance to discuss it on the council,” said Juholt to TT.

He doesn’t want to criticise the actions of the government until he has heard what they have to say.

“If what the press are saying is true, this is a breach against Swedish and international law. First I want to know if the Swedish government was informed and what actions they have taken,” Juholt said.

And according to Juholt the Swedish people will not be kept in the dark.

“That is never acceptable. First the parties should be briefed but of course the government are also obligated to inform the people. If there has been a breach of Swedish and international law I assume that the government will let the Swedish people know what actions they will take,“ Juholt told TT.

Säpo discovered in 2009 that two Americans were conducting illegal, under-cover investigations in Sweden, the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) daily reported Monday.

According to the paper, the two men were discovered when Säpo noticed them tracking people that they were themselves investigating for suspected ties to terrorist groups.

Washington had not informed Swedish authorities of the agents' activities in the country, and soon after their activities were discovered, the two US citizens left the country, the paper added.

Neither Säpo nor the American embassy has so far been willing to comment the affair in the press and the government is also keeping a tight lid on the matter.

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

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Your comments about this article

16:05 May 24, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
Well I say - bildt says, juholt declaaares, reinfeldt thinks and everybody hides that they simply did not knoh anything at all. säpoh declaaars that the laws must be updated, but they doh not recognize that it is the säpoh that should be updated or else. got it, you, one's old bean, nincompoohps?
17:13 May 24, 2011 by miss79
CIAs MOSSADS they are everywhere..underground people
17:49 May 24, 2011 by Infart
Hey, if you're not a terrorist then you have nothing to worry about.
18:33 May 24, 2011 by Tall swede
Except being abducted to guantanamo and inprisoned for years without a trial?
19:51 May 24, 2011 by Rahelli
tanks Infart

yes if you are not a terrorist then you do not to worry about it
21:50 May 24, 2011 by Eroth
@Infart: First they came for the "terrorists", and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a terrorist...
22:01 May 24, 2011 by darky
What do you expect Sweden to say? Its not that they can't do something because this is actually against the sovereignty of a country but rem that no matter what your father or uncle does, you cannot complain. The best is to grumble and stay. We all know the ties between the two countries...... I mean, they both are so tight , then what again..........??
22:47 May 24, 2011 by MarkinBoston
When CIA agents in Sweden discover a plot to blow up a train station in Stockholm, do you want they to tell the Swedish government, or do you want them to leave the country and take their 'illegal' information with them?

Please note that the British government is horrified by the idea that Americans are 'torturing' suspected terrorists, but they'll be happy to have the information gained by such means.
08:00 May 25, 2011 by wenddiver
When a large friend (US) comes to your assistance when an enemy is trying to destroy you (Islamic Terrorists), most people appreciate the help!! Sweden belongs to the Swedes, not some terrorist.
10:03 May 25, 2011 by technoviking
How about the head line says: US keeps quiet about Sweden harboring unsavory, scumbag terrorist collaborators.
16:18 May 26, 2011 by wenddiver
If we can't get behind the Men and Women defending our Families, the right of women to wear bikinis, Democracy and the Right of us to drive a Porsche while drinking a Burbon and Coke, while suffering only a reasonable Fine, who can we get behind? Every time I see the CIA, MI-6 or the Mossad on TV I thank God, there are Men and Women out there risking Life and Limb, defending everything I hold dear in the World from this Mangy Hoard of Political Nuts, who call themselves a Religion, but we call Islamists.
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