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Sweden Democrat 'stole reporter's camera'

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10:29 CET+01:00
Swedish prosecutors have begun investigating four politicians from the far right Sweden Democrat party who are accused of locking an investigative reporter into a ferry cabin and stealing a video camera she had hidden in her handbag.

Caroline Stenman, a reporter for Sveriges Radio's investigative programme Kaliber, reported the matter to the police after a trip to Estonia with members of the Sweden Democrats' youth wing (SDU).

Stenman infiltrated the SDU in the autumn and has spent the last few months documenting the youth faction with a hidden camera and microphone. But the project came to an abrupt end on January 9th when four people led by the head of the SDU, Erik Almqvist, bundled Stenman into a cabin on board the M/S Victoria.

"I said 'no no no'. Then he grabbed the bag. I let it go and said: 'take it then'," Stenman told Expressen.

The drama was recorded on a microphone hidden in the reporter's sweater which went undetected by the four accused, all of whom deny committing an offence.

"In the cabin I immediately knew that something wasn't right," Almqvist told news agency TT.

"There had been rumours and I could tell that she wasn't who she had claimed to be. My first thought was that she had been sent out by AFA [Anti-fascist Action] or was a left wing extremist who had infiltrated us.

"I wanted to keep her there and talk but she ran away," he added.

Almqvist, who sits on the governing board of the Sweden Democrats, claims he did not know she was a reporter and had no idea what she had in her handbag.

"I was more focused on her. It was the middle of the night and kind of chaotic," he said.

Almqvist said he had no recollection of any party members saying anything compromising that might have been caught on tape by the reporter.

"But when we're talking about thirty young people on a three day party it's obvious not everybody was completely sober," he said.

Kaliber's report on the Sweden Democrats is scheduled to be broadcast in the spring.

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