Expressen reporter Niclas Rislund, who denied the charges from the outset, was accused of deliberately giving the impression that he was a police officer. Gothenburg District Court said that the evidence of two witnesses indicated that Rislund had indeed pretended to be a member of the police force, but the court also took account of the fact that in each call Rislund had given his name and telephone number.
The court said that in both calls there had been room for misinterpretation of the nature of Rislund’s job, but said that it was not proven beyond all reasonable doubt that the journalist had intentionally pretended to be a policeman in order to extract information.
“This is an important judgment,”said Expressen’s editor Otto Sjöberg.
“If he had been found guilty, it would have made journalists’ work more difficult in the future.”
Asked what the judgment means for Expressen as a company, Sjöberg replied that it was good that the accusations had been tried and that the court had acquitted the journalist.
As for the court’s statement that Rislund had appeared on two occasions to have intentionally given the impression that he was a police officer, Sjöberg pointed out that the court had found Rislund not guilty on both counts.
“It also makes it very clear that he gave his unusual name and left his phone number, and that at no point in the investigation or during the trial has anyone claimed that he said he was a policeman.”
“I would have been surprised at anything other than an acquittal, but I am happy for Niklas.
“It is clear that it is very stressful to have a court case handing over you, particularly when it is as well-publicised as this one,” Sjöberg added.