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Ex-officer cleared of document charges

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Ex-officer cleared of document charges
14:54 CEST+02:00
Former Major General Tony Stigsson has been acquitted of charges that he improperly handled classified documents.

Stigsson was arrested in March 2005 on suspicions of abusing his wife and was sentenced a year later to three months in prison.

At the time he was head of the military's Joint Forces Command and was formally discharged in April 2008.

At the time of Stigsson's arrest, police found top secret documents lying around his home. Among the documents was an evaluation of secret Swedish special forces operations overseas and documents about successful intelligence operations.

The district court found that Stigsson had taken the secret documents home with him. Stigsson claimed that someone had planted the documents in his house, but the court doubted his version of events.

However, the court didn't find the misdeed severe enough to be convicted for serious unauthorized handling of secret information because the contents of the documents had not been exposed.

“He had actually had these documents with him in relation to his duties, something he had a right to. The fact that he happened to have forgotten them at home is not a crime,” said Stigsson's lawyer Gunnar Falk, to the TT news agency.

Falk is satisfied with the ruling.

“It goes without saying that it's satisfying that they share our understanding,” he said.

Chief prosecutor Tomas Lindstrand told TT that he hasn't had a chance to review the decision and is therefore unwilling to comment.

“I don't really understand the court's reasoning. But I might get to know once I've read the whole decision,” he said.

He is nonetheless surprised at the court's ruling.

“It's not really what I had expected.”

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