Swedish blogs boost libel stats

The number of libel cases in Sweden has almost doubled over the last 10 years. The increase is most apparent in Västernorrland in northern Sweden, which has seen three times as many defamation cases over the same period, according to statistics from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.

The growth of blogs over the last few years is thought to be a major contributory factor.

“It is probably due to the fact that the internet is accessible to more people. I think that is probably the cause of the increase,” public prosecutor Sune Andersson told Sveriges Radio.

Libel is on the increase in all parts of the country. In 1997, there were 4,551 reported cases in Sweden.

Preliminary figures for 2006 show a marked increase, with 8,869 reported instances of libel.