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Sahlin demands answers over KGB revelations

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Sahlin demands answers over KGB revelations
07:42 CET+01:00
Social Democrat leader Mona Sahlin has called on writer Jan Guillou to lift the lid on any information he may have passed to the KGB about her party.

Sahlin's calls come after Guillou told newspaper Expressen that he wrote a report about the Social Democrats and handed it over to the Soviet intelligence agency, though when speaking to other media he claimed the report had concerned the Centre Party's youth wing.

"It should be in Jan Guillou's own interest, since his description of this doesn't equate it with spying. In that case, it's even more important, particularly after all these years, to show it," Sahlin told Expressesn.

Guillou has confessed to maintaining contact with a KGB agent but insists his assignments were of a journalistic nature. He claims to have no record of what he wrote in his reports but insists the information was of no value.

"What in the world makes you thing that I would save this kind of... I do keep an archive certainly but this was just rubbish," he told Expressen.

A prominent author and journalist, Guillou had liaisons spanning five years with the Soviet intelligence service in the 1960s. Guillou maintains he was trying to reveal how the KGB was operating in Sweden.

Documents on Guillou's relations with the KGB from Swedish intelligence agency Säpo centre around Russian agent Jevgenij Ivanovitj Gergel, the KGB's man in Stockholm at the end of the 1960s.

A witness statement from one of Guillou's journalist colleagues at the time raised the alarm over relations between the two. It also refers to an assignment to steal an internal telephone directory from the American Embassy in Stockholm.

Guillou confirmed that he first met Gergel at a reception held at the Soviet Embassy in Stockholm in 1967.

Guillou said the two only ever talked politics, adding that his connection never led to any journalistic revelations and he denies spying for the Soviets.

While he admits to undertaking paid assignments, he claims the purpose was of a professional nature, to investigate how the KGB was working in Sweden at the time.

Guillou had contact with the KGB until 1972 when he began publishing articles that revealed the existence of Informationsbyrån, a secret Swedish military intelligence agency that spied on Swedish citizens for political purposes. He was later jailed for espionage.

Säpo's investigation of Guillou's KGB relations never led to any indictments.

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