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No police action over Reinfeldt smear emails

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16:33 CET+01:00
Sweden's Moderate Party may never know if there were more Social Democrat HQ workers involved in the email smear campaign against party leader Fredrik Reinfeldt.

The public prosecution office has decided not to carry out an investigation into the matter, which leaves senior Social Democrat analyst Mats Lindström as the only scapegoat after he admitted sending the emails.

"This is really a matter for the injured party to pursue," said Stockholm prosecutor Kerstin Skarp to TT.

"There must be certain criteria for the prosecutor to open an investigation and I haven't seen them here."

Only in exceptional cases, according to Skarp, does the prosecution service get involved in cases of suspected slander. It is usually left to the injured party to bring a private case against the accused - but the Moderates have no such plans.

"No, we're not going to do that," said party secretary Sven Otto Littorin.

"Now we've had the legal process we sought and if the prosecutor makes this judgement then we accept that. Now we'll get on with our election campaign."

One reason why Reinfeldt reported the matter to the police was to clarify whether other people were involved - which the Moderates made clear they believed was the case.

"Now we won't get that and that's how it is," said Littorin.

The Social Democrats' party secretary Marita Ulvskog has offered the Moderates all the accessible material, but the Moderates have declined.

"If we were to do that we'd end up being just the kind of private detectives that Marita Ulvskog clearly thinks is interesting. We can't judge this information," said Littorin.

Mats Lindström, who claimed responsibility for sending the series of smear emails to Fredrik Reinfeldt and others, was forced to resign from his job in the Social Democratic party over the affair. He was a key opinion analyst for the party.

Marita Ulvskog said she was pleased that the prosecutor had made a quick decision not to investigate the case.

"It is conclusive proof that it was wrong of the Moderates to try and make a police issue out of something which we gave them full access to. But the Moderates chose to go running to the police to try and drag them into the election," said Ulvskog to TT.

She said it was obvious that the Moderates were trying to score political points off the incident and called it 'sandbox politics'.

Nevertheless, the Social Democrats say they are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the email.

"We want to get to the bottom of this - we're not putting it to one side," said Ulvskog.

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