Governor cleared of bribery charges

Jämtland's County Governor Maggi Mikaelsson has had her previous conviction for bribery overturned by the Court of Appeal. Kenneth Eriksson, president of forestry company SCA, has also been cleared.

Mats Odell, Sweden’s minister for local government and financial markets, has indicated that Mikaelsson will return to her post immediately.

In September 2005 Maggi Mikaelsson, who in 2002 became the Left Party’s first ever county governor, was invited to take part in an elk hunt arranged by SCA. According to senior public prosecutor Christer van der Kvast, the hunt may have cleared the way for a decision to add five adult elks to SCA’s seasonal quota.

But the Court of Appeal has argued that the hunt’s recreational aspect was of secondary importance when compared to the occupational information and knowledge that the hunt provided. The county governor had been given an ideal opportunity to meet with various trade and industry representatives.

The court did not consider the food and board supplied in connection with the hunt to be excessive.

“Today’s verdict means that public representatives can meet informally with trade and industry figures to discuss business matters,” SCA’s CEO Jan Åstrom told news agency TT.

Mikaelsson has consistently proclaimed her innocence. She has been on a leave of absence from her position as county governor since being convicted of bribery in November last year.


Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime