Liberals charged over spy scandal

Six people suspected of involvement in the Liberal Party’s pre-election spying scandal are to face criminal charges, according to district prosecutor Maria Häljebo.

The list of defendants includes former party secretary Johan Jakobsson, press officer Niki Westerberg, the party youth wing’s press secretary Per Jodenius and former Expressen journalist Niklas Svensson.

“All those suspected of involvement are being prosecuted,” Häljebo told Svenska Dagbladet.

The spying scandal broke shortly before the election when it emerged that a number of Liberal Party members had acquired login details to the Social Democratic Party’s internal computer network.

Johan Jakobsson is charged with instigating illegal access to the internal network.

According to the prosecution, Jakobsson implored young press secretary Jodenius to persuade Niklas Svensson to break in to Sapnet, the Social Democrats’ internal network.

Niki Westerberg is also accused of instigating illegal access having encouraged Jodenius to break into the network. On ten occasions she received information from Jodenius regarding Social Democratic education and electoral policies.

Westerberg is also said to have praised Jodenius and prevailed upon him to seek out more information on the rival party’s policies for the elderly.

“It is reassuring that the view we outlined before the election has proved correct,” said Erik Ullenhag, who took over as secretary of the Liberal Party after Jakobsson.

“But it is of course regrettable for all those involved.”

Press secretary Niki Westerberg has taken time off work for the duration of the legal proceedings. Today’s decision means that her leave of absence will be extended.