Prosecutor orders searches at Karolinska

Police have been ordered to search two research institutions at Stockholm's prestigious Karolinska Institute. The order came from the anti-corruption division of the office of Sweden's prosecutor general.

Search warrants were also issued for listed biotech company Karo Bio, based at the Karolinska Institute’s site in Huddinge, near Stockholm, according to Swedish Radio. The searches were carried out last week, it reports.

One of the major figures in the investigation, Professor Jan-Åke Gustafsson, has led three foundations that have received hundreds of millions of kronor in local taxpayers’ money over the years. The foundations’ money had largely been used for Gustafsson’s own research projects.

Some of the research is linked to Karo Bio, of which Gustafsson is a founder. He remains a non-voting member of the board and a consultant for the company, for which he is paid 1 million kronor a year.

The investigation is led by deputy chief prosecutor Björn Blomqvist from the anti-corruption division. He gave few details of the searches.

“A search took place in which a certain amount of material was collected. We are now going to look at that material and see what conclusions we can draw from it. This is likely to take some time,” he said.

Neither Gustafsson nor anyone else is currently suspected of any crime. An internal investigation at the Karolinska Institute cleared Gustafsson “in all important questions” over accusations relating to his travel and entertaining expenses.