Moderates: investigate civil servants

Sweden’s Moderate Party has asked the Prosecutor General to investigate the actions of senior civil servants in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster.

In a letter to the Prosecutor General, Mikael Odenberg, parliamentary leader of the conservative Moderates, Sweden’s largest opposition party, asks whether civil servants failed to carry out their responsibilities as required by law, and whether their actions constitute civil service misconduct according to Sweden’s penal code.

“It’s quite clear that Hans Dahlgren (cabinet secretary at the foreign ministry), has not exercised the operative leadership that he should have done according both to precedent and to the written regualtions,” Odenberg told TT.

Odenberg also says that it is unclear what role Lars Danielsson, Prime Minister Göran Persson’s closest aide, took during the catastrophe.

“It’s very serious that those two [Danielsson and Dahlgren] have different accounts of what happened,” he says.

Danielsson told the “catastrophe commission,” which published its damning report into the government’s actions last Thursday, that the had called Dahlgren three times on December 26th. Dahlgren denies having received any calls.

“The failures have had huge consequences, and the penal code contains a crime of civil service misconduct. It is worth testing whether the failures are serious enough to constitute misconduct.”

Serious misconduct can result in six years imprisonment.

Odenberg says the opposition will pursue the government and civil servants using both legal and political means. For government politicians, it will argue for a vote of no confidence, an investigation by the parliamentary Committee on the Constitution and will fight the government in the general election.

Civil servants will be pursued using legal means. Odenberg says that he wants investigations into those who have had operative responsibility, which in this case was state secretaries.

“I don’t think that it is unreasonable to ask whether they have committed misconduct,” he said.

TT/The Local