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Police investigate Swedish PM's house

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15:05 CEST+02:00
The country mansion being built by Sweden's prime minister Göran Persson and his wife is to be investigated by the police.

Chief prosecutor Lars Lundin decided on Thursday to open a preliminary inquiry into suspicions that the project breaks working environment legislation.

The Swedish Work Environment Authority (SWEA) in Linköping reported the building project - and those legally responsible for it, Persson and his wife Anitra Steen - to the prosecutor more than a month ago.

Only now has he had time to look more closely at the matter to see if there is reason to begin an inquiry.

The prime minister and his wife, who is the head of Sweden's alcohol monopoly Systembolaget, first heard from the SWEA about their mansion by Lake Båven last year.

At an inspection of the site, the agency's inspector discovered several health and safety failings. There was no working environment plan for the project and nor was a preliminary report about the construction - necessary for such large projects - submitted before the work began.

The prosecutor's decision means that there is reason to suspect that a crime has been committed which comes under the public prosecution service's jurisdiction.

No individuals were named in the decision, however.

As well as Göran Persson and Anitra Steen, Persson's brother could also be charged with breaking health and safety laws. His building firm is carrying out the work.

All three could face fines if they are prosecuted.

When the initial report was submitted by SWEA to the prosecutor in April, the prime minister said that the failings were a pure oversight on his part.

"I did not have the qualifications to anticipate that anything like that should be done," said Göran Persson.

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