It would be comic if it wasn’t such a waste of public money: police have raided the TV4 newsroom on the orders of Sweden’s top corruption prosecutor, Christer van der Kwast, with the aim to get their hands on the 1,000 kronor bar bill for an evening TV4 reporter Anders Pihlblad spent in the company of Ulrica Schenström, PM Fredrik Reinfeldt’s right-hand woman.
Van der Kwast has said nothing about the raid yet, but he has previously said he was looking into whether Pihlblad could be guilty of bribery.
The Swedish Journalists’ Union has said that the raid threatens source confidentiality. They say that sources should be able to go to newsrooms without fearing that police officers will burst in while they are there. A fair point indeed.
But what should also be a matter of concern is that police and prosecutors are spending public money on attention-seeking raids over a journalist buying 500 kronor worth of drinks for a source who earned 84,000 kronor a month.
Was this really necessary given that the details of the tab have already been released to the press and when neither of the two people involved deny any of the essential details?