Politician surfed for porn on office computer
Published: 22 Nov 2011 16:34 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Nov 2011 16:34 GMT+01:00
Until last week, Per Asklund of the Moderate Party served as the chair of the local council in Laholm in western Sweden.
But Asklund, 59, chose to leave politics after being charged with illegally purchasing sexual services from a 32-year-old woman following the unmasking of a suspected prostitution ring in central Halmstad.
“I can't take it anymore,” he told the local Hallandsposten newspaper on Thursday, two days after the scandal broke.
Asklund was among six men charged with purchasing sex from a prostitution ring allegedly run out of the apartment of a 47-year-old man who is now facing pimping charges.
According to the indictment, the 47-year-old arranged for two women to meet paying customers in his flat.
In addition to the six men charged for buying sex, an additional ten men are suspected of the same crime.
While Asklund has denied purchasing sex, an examination of his office computer by the municipality's IT department revealed that the politician spent a fair amount of his working day visiting pornographic websites and sites offering escort services.
According to the investigation, carried out at the behest of Hallandsposten, Asklund visited “thousands” of the sites from his computer at his municipality office.
He then allegedly tried to hide his tracks by reformatting the computer's hard drive.
Currently, the municipality has no policy explicitly forbidding employees from visiting pornographic websites from their work computers.
However, users of computers at the public library are obliged to sign a document promising not to do so.
In an interview last week with the Aftonbladet newspaper, Asklund denied having committed any crime.
“I didn't purchase sex,” he said.
Speaking with police, however, Asklund did admit to meeting the woman and placing 1,200 kronor ($176) on the table.
“She asked me to get undressed and I took off all my clothes. She then undressed until she was only in her underwear,” he told police, according to Aftonbladet.
Asklund said he got in touch with the woman through her website, on which she offered Tantric massage with a "happy ending", but was unable to explain what happened to the money he put on the table.