Top Swedish military officer fired

Major General Tony Stigsson, former head of the Swedish Armed Forces' Joint Forces Command, was formally dismissed today.

He had earlier been sentenced to three months in prison for abusing his wife. He is also accused of having inappropriately handled classified documents.

The abuse of his wife obviously conflicts with the basic values of the Armed Forces and demonstrates that he is obviously unfit to hold the position of a career officer. It would have been offensive if a career officer were to retain his position after having committed such a crime, according to the Armed Forces.

The National Disciplinary Offences Board (Statens Ansvarsnämnd) found that Stigsson seriously eroded confidence in himself as a career officer, as well as the public’s confidence in Sweden’s Armed Forces.

In so doing he showed gross disregard for his obligations to the Armed Forces and should be dismissed, wrote the Board.

Stigsson opposed the ruling. He has denied the abuse for which he was sentenced, citing Armed Forces’ practice of not dismissing officers who are sentenced for abuse while off-duty.

Stigsson also stands indicted for negligence in his handling of classified documents which he kept in a desk at his home and in a storage area of an apartment he had at his disposal. When he was arrested by police in 2005, he also has two classified documents in the pants pocket of his uniform. He had also stored classified documents in an attic.

He defended his handling of the documents by saying that, in some cases he kept a close eye on the documents, and in other cases the documents were stored in a secure manner or had a low level of classification.

Stigsson feels the Board ought to wait for a conviction before dismissing him.

His representatives Lars P. Merkel did not wish to comment on the Board’s decision, nor could he say whether or not the ruling would be appealed to the Labour Court.