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Security probe into 'one-week defence' claim

Published: 25 Jan 2013 07:35 GMT+01:00

Säpo and the prosecutor's national security unit prosecutor (Åklagarkammaren för säkerhetsmål) are jointly looking at whether Sverker Göranson's statements to the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper at the beginning of the year put Sweden at risk.

"Talking about national defence is of course extremely sensitive," the unit's chief prosecutor Tomas Lindstrand told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper on Friday.

"The follow-up question is how well-known the information already was and how detailed it was, but of course that kind of information could be very useful to a foreign power, especially when it comes from the commander-in-chief."

Lindstrand said that if the investigation goes ahead, it would lie in the hands of the Justice Chancellor (Justitiekanslern) as the information was printed in an interview and has freedom of the press implications.

Göranson himself denies having revealed classified information. He told DN a few days ago that anyone could have come to the same conclusion looking at publicly available statistics about Swedish military capacity.

He has since gone on sick leave for exhaustion.

His statements in the run-up to the annual defence conference in Sälen, organized by the think tank Society and Defence (Folk och försvar), caused a stir in Sweden and beyond.

It rattled the cages of Swedes who remain faithful to the country's centuries-old tradition of neutrality and of those who would like to join Nato alike.

The Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who also attended the conference in Sälen, applauded Swedish contributions to Nato efforts but underlined that the military alliance had no obligation to come to Sweden's defence in case of war.

TT/The Local/at

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Your comments about this article

09:11 January 25, 2013 by Frobobbles
One week is damn good.
09:35 January 25, 2013 by snarky
So wait the commander in chief of the Swedish armed forces had to take off work for being exhausted because of backlash from comments he made? Wow! How would this guy get along if a real threat took place?
09:39 January 25, 2013 by Annihilanthic
And who would attack Sweden? Finland would gain nothing from it, Norway/NATO has no reason, Russia would have to go through Finland first, Germany has very little to gain, and Poland is highly unlikely. Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are too small for such undertaking.
12:51 January 25, 2013 by isenhand
How can stating the blatantly obvious be a security breach? It's quite obvious to anyone that knowns anything about the military that Sweden doesn't have a defence.

@Annihilanthic

Russia doesn't have to go through Finland to get to Sweden. They have some very good amphibious assault craft and airborne units (part of it's current upgrading and modernisation). However, if Sweden ends up in a war it will most likely start somewhere else in Europe. Sweden is responsible for one EU battle group and also has a commitment to defending Northern Europe.
13:16 January 25, 2013 by Flygger
Is this news to anyone ???

I'm pretty well sure everyone in Sweden is aware of this and most certainly every other country is too.

Just what sort of other news is Sweden trying to hide when this banal statement is issued ???
13:34 January 25, 2013 by Rishonim
I think I heard San Marino is planning a surprise attack on Sweden. As anyone else heard the same??
17:59 January 25, 2013 by johan rebel
Any toddler from PNG highlands can tell you that Sweden is incapable of defending itself, so what is the big secret here?
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