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Moderates demand SD data records

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11:42 CET+01:00
Sweden's Moderate Party has said that it wants to see the Social Democrats' data records in order to determine whether more people were involved in the email smear campaign against Fredrik Reinfeldt.

The sender of a series of defamatory emails about the Moderates' leader was revealed on Friday as 33 year old Mats Lindström, a senior analyst at the Social Democrats' Stockholm headquarters.

Lindström apologised for his actions on Friday after the Social Democrats had attempted to play down his role within the party.

Then on Saturday the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet revealed that Lindström was one of eight advisors who joined prime minister Göran Persson on a trip to a vineyard in the south of France in autumn 2003.

The Moderates seized upon the news as further evidence that Lindström's position in the party was far more senior than the Social Democrats had let on.

"So far we have heard from them that Mats Lindström was a young man, a worker at a junior level. But now it's clear that that's not the case at all," said Sven-Otto Littorin, the Moderates' party secretary, to Dagens Nyheter.

"This is a person who has worked there for a number of years, has an office close to the party secretary and who has been on trips with the prime minister. Clearly we wonder whether more people are involved."

Littorin said that while they did not want their leader to be distracted by a long legal process as the election approaches, the Moderates were considering handing the matter over to the police.

"We have only been able to save the emails to us Moderates, but the police can request records from Microsoft and trace all computers which have used the same Hotmail address as Lindström in the last 90 days. Then we'll see if others are involved," said Littorin.

Littorin put pressure on his opposite number in the Social Democrats, party secretary Marita Ulvskog:

"If it was someone in our election leadership who had behaved in this way, I would resign."

The decision whether or not to report Lindström to the police would be taken "after the weekend", said Littorin.

If Lindström is found guilty of serious slander, he could face a prison term.

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