TV3 admits paying fugitive half a million

Swedish media conglomerate MTG has admitted that its subsidiary, TV3, paid 500,000 crowns for an interview with suspected fraudster Joachim Posener.

The authorities want to question Posener about the suspected theft in 1997 of 600 million crowns from investment company Trustor. Posener gave an interview to TV3 last year in which he protested his innocence. The TV company has also published a book by the fugitive.

When allegations that TV3 had paid at least 200,000 crowns to Posener were published last year in media paper Resumé, the television company denied that any money had changed hands. Now TV3’s parent company MTG has told the Swedish National Economic Crimes Bureau (Ekobrottsmyndigheten) that half a million crowns had been paid for the interview.

“We have given information about the amount of money that was paid in connection with the interview, and to which company the money has gone,” MTG’s spokesman Bert Wiborg told DI. He added that the money for the book had been paid to the same company.

Svenska Dagbladet reports that money from the deals appears to have gone to Posener, even though he is bankrupt and all his income should therefore be paid to the receiver. The paper says that a lawyer is believed to be taking care of the money and securing an income for Posener.

TV3 was forced to apologize to Dagens Industri in December for demanding money to set up an interview with Posener. Dagens Industri had asked the TV company to forward a request for an interview with the fugitive. TV3 said that it would do so only in return for 100,000 crowns.

The Trustor affair began after British businessman Lord Moyne bought the majority stake in Trustor. Trustor’s own money was illegally used to finance the purchase. Shortly afterwards, it became clear that the company had been subject to a major fraud.

Lord Moyne, a writer and son of the well-known British aristocrat Diana Mitford, was cleared of any wrongdoing. Two other men, Thomas Jisander and Peter Mattsson were convicted in 2001 but subsequently freed on appeal.

Last year, Posener was ordered by a court to pay back 125 million crowns to Trustor. The case was tried in Posener’s absence, and attempts to find out where he is hiding have so far been unsuccessful.

Sources: Dagens Industri, Svenska Dagbladet, Resumé, Dagens Nyheter