Lindh “authorised Egyptians’ deportation”

A police superintendent has declared that Anna Lindh is the person responsible for the deportation of two Egyptians in December of 2001, reported Svenska Dagbladet on Thursday. The decision was made at a meeting in Anna Lindh's office, the day before the pair were flown out of the country on board a CIA plane.

“She stepped aside to consult her nearest advisors and discuss the issue. It took maybe half a minute until she confirmed that they would accept the offer.” said the police officer.

The information came from a police hearing. JO, the Parliamentary Ombudsman, decided to investigate the matter and found out that there were also two Egyptian security officers on board.

The police officer told SvD that he is not comfortable making the statement since Anna Lindh is dead. Many were present at the meeting, and technically the decision could not be made by the government; it was the responsibility of a civil servant.

Arne Andersson, officer of the security forces SÄPO, was the person responsible for the operation. He stated during the investigation that the Foreign Ministry was worried that it could take too long between the deportation and the actual operation. This is where he informed the Foreign Ministry about the offer from the Americans.

“A quick way to do this is if we accept the offer from…our American friends,” said Andersson.

The CIA had made the offer to fly the men out three days before. The airplane passed Egypt on the way to Stockholm and picked up two Egyptian officers. Andersson knew about the presence of the Americans, but described how surprised his officers became when “a gang of masked men came out of the airplane looking very …professional”.

But that would be impossible, according to Maud Olofsson, the leader of the Central Party.

“This is so unusual. A cabinet minister making such a decision sounds unlikely,” said Olofsson to Expressen.

The episode is harmful to Sweden’s reputation in the world, she says:

“This damages Sweden. We have lost our credibility. It is a big political consequence.”

“We have a high profile when it comes to human rights, legal security issues and the treatment of individuals. If it is not maintained here, it becomes difficult for Sweden to tell other countries what to do,” said Olofsson to Expressen.

The whole operation was performed very quickly. The airplane landed at Bromma airport at 9 p.m. and took off again thirty minutes later.

Kjell Jönsson, the lawyer to one of the suspects, has a different story to tell. He found out that the Foreign Ministry was worried about a possible delay. If news of the deportation leaked out, the UN’s Torture Committee or the European Court could try to interfere or stop the process. That is the reason why, according to Jönsson, he was not informed about his client’s deportation. Al Zery, one of the suspects, was refused a phone call to his lawyer. It was not until the next day that Jönsson was informed of what happened, stated Thursday’s DN.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Expressen