Spy trial prosecutor calls for suspended sentences

Wednesday was the second and final day of the trial surrounding the Liberal Party's pre-election spying scandal.

At the end of the trial, the public prosecutor called for two of its central figures – Liberal Party press officer Niki Westerberg and Per Jodenius, former press secretary for the party’s youth wing (LUF) – to be given suspended sentences.

Comparing their actions to industrial espionage, the prosecutor said that it was particularly grave in the lead up to a general election and represented a threat to the entire democratic system.

While he thought their crimes possibly merited six month prison sentences, the prosecutor recommended that the pair instead be given suspended sentences and fines on the basis that the risk of a recurrence is non-existent.

As for former party secretary Johan Jakobsson, the prosecutor concluded that he had attempted to get Jodenius to stop logging in to the Social Democrat’s internal network. He should however be convicted for acting as an accessory to journalist Niklas Svensson’s unauthorized access. The prosecutor considered a fine to be suitable punishment in Jakobsson’s case.

The actions of each of the three other defendants – Niklas Svensson, LUF’s regional chairman Nicklas Lagerlöf, and young Social Democrat Niklas Sörman – were not considered as serious. The prosecutor has called for each of them to be fined.

On Wednesday Johan Jakobsson and journalist Niklas Svensson were both called upon to testify at the Stockholm trial.

Jakobsson was charged with the unusual-sounding crime of incitement to incitement to unauthorized computer access, a crime which his lawyer said did not exist.

According to deputy chief prosecutor Per Lindqvist, Jakobsson encouraged Per Jodenius to hand over the log-in details for the Social Democrat’s internal network, Sapnet, to a journalist. He should explain that there was more information to be found there.

Johan Jakobsson’s lawyer, Per E Samuelsson, viewed matters differently. According to his version of events, Jakobsson forbade Jodenius from using the password and ordered him to erase it. Jakobsson also advised the young press secretary to prepare a statement for the media to the effect that the Social Democrats had a password on the loose.

This version differs from that presented by Jodenius, who said that Jakobsson’ had instructed him to give the log-in details to a journalist.

“I thought it was absolutely fine to give the details to a journalist,” said Jodenius.

Former Expressen journalist Niklas Svensson was charged with having accessed the Social Democrats’ internal network on three occasions. He admitted to logging on to Sapnet, but would not reveal how he had first come upon the log-in details.

“My source told me that I had been given the details to dig up scandals, or news, about the Social Democrats,” said Niklas Svensson.

After Svensson, it was Johan Jakobsson’s turn to testify. The Liberal Party’s one-time chief strategist stated that he had urged Jodenius not to use the log-in details.

“It’s immoral, even if it was a Social Democratic civil servant who gave them to you,” said Jakobsson.

When the scandal came to light, Jakobsson phoned Jodenius in the middle of the night to fire him from his job.

Upon his arrival at Stockholm District Court on Tuesday wearing sunglasses Jodenius greeted the press, saying: “I promise that there will be action in the courtroom.”

When the trial began, Jodenius admitted that he had gained unauthorized access to Sapnet around 130 times.

He said that he soon began supplying Niki Westerberg with documents found on the Social Democrats’ network.

“She told me to watch out, be careful and take it easy. She must have understood where I got the information,” said Jodenius.

He also added that he deeply regretted what he had done.

“I was caught with my hand in the cookie jar. It was stupid. I didn’t think the log-ins would be so easy to trace,” said Jodenius.

Having kept his cool for most of Tuesday, Jodenius broke down in tears when he had to talk about about how he and his family had been chased by the media in the wake of the scandal.