Reepalu freed over bribe charges

The Social Democratic chief executive of Malmö Municipality was set free by a criminal court on Tuesday after being cleared of bribery charges.

Ilmar Reepalu and two other men accepted a free trip to a safari park in South Africa in 2004, something prosecutors claimed was corruption.

Reepalu’s co-defendants include former county governor Bengt Holgersson and businessman Dan Olofsson, from the company Sigma.

All three were found not guilty by Malmö’s district court.

Reepalu’s free trip has been valued at 34,000 kronor. He himself denied any crime, arguing that the trip was a 60th birthday present and was the result of a personal friendship between him and the businessman.

None of the defendants denied that the trip took place, but they said that no crime was committed. Malmö municipality has made purchases worth millions of kronor from the businessman’s company since the turn of the century.

The county administrative board, formerly headed by Bengt Holgersson, had also made purchases from the businessman. The alleged bribes in Holgersson’s case have been valued at 63,000 kronor as he took his wife with him.