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CRIME

Swedish army officer jailed for wife abuse

One of Sweden’s most senior army officers has been jailed for six months for assaulting his wife – but is likely to keep his job.

Major General Tony Stigsson was convicted on Wednesday by a court in Mariefred on two counts of assault. The court cleared him on all the other charges he was facing, which included rape.

Stigsson was also told to pay 14,000 kronor in damages to his former wife. She had claimed 630,000 kronor.

Stigsson had been arrested in March, after an investigation into allegations by his wife of eight years of repeated abuse.

A panel of judges at Mariefred District Court found that most of his wife’s allegations were unproven. Only 19 pages of the 70-page judgment have been made public, the rest subject to a secrecy order.

Stigsson had admitted in court that on one occasion an argument between him and his wife had resulted in them coming to blows, but denied that he had hit her.

Had Stigsson been convicted on the more serious charges, he would automatically have lost his job, according to testimony given to the trial by state ethics watchdogs.

But Wednesday’s judgment states that it can be assumed that Stigsson should be allowed to keep his job.

Stigsson still faces investigation for crimes against national security. When his homes were searched police found sensitive documents were being “stored unsuitably”.

A decsion on whether to press charges will be made by prosecutors later this year.

NATO

Germany to boost military cooperation with Sweden and Finland amid Nato bid

Germany will ramp up its military collaboration with Sweden and Finland as the two countries seek Nato membership in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday.

Germany to boost military cooperation with Sweden and Finland amid Nato bid

“We will intensify our military cooperation, especially in the Baltic Sea region and through joint exercises,” Scholz said amid concern for the two candidates’ security during the transition period to Nato accession.

“It is already clear that our countries are bound together by an obligation to provide each other with all possible assistance and support for mutual protection” as members of the United Nations and the European Union, Scholz added.

“Both countries can always rely on our support, especially in this very special situation,” he said.

Germany has been hiking up military spending and changing decades-held policies in the wake of the war on Ukraine, which began when Russia invaded its neighbour on February 24th this year. 

READ ALSO: Zeitenwende: How war in Ukraine has sparked a historic shift in Germany

With Moscow pressing its assault in eastern border regions of Ukraine nearly three months into its invasion, Helsinki and Stockholm are poised to give up decades of military non-alignment over fears they could be next.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson confirmed on Monday her country would apply to join Nato, a day after Finland — which shares a 1,300-kilometre (800-mile) border with Russia – said the same.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose war has sparked global outrage, said the move poses “no direct threat for us… but the expansion of military infrastructure to these territories will certainly provoke our response”.

Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg told a meeting of the alliance in Berlin on Sunday that it would “look into ways to provide security assurances including by increasing Nato presence in the region” during the transition period.

“Finland and Sweden are concerned about the interim period… we will try to speed up that process,” he said.

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