The Supreme Administrative Court ruled on Friday that Professor Birgitta Almgren, a professor in German at Södertörn University (Södertörns Högskola), should be allowed to see the documents, which are held by the Swedish Security Service (Säpo). Säpo has consistently opposed releasing the material.
Almgren will not be given access to all documents, however. The court itself will decide exactly which papers she will be able to read. She will also not be allowed to take the documents off Säpo premises, will not be permitted to make copies of the documents and will have to destroy her notes within a year.
It is believed that most of the files she will access come from the Swedish parts of the Rosenholz Files. These were top secret Stasi documents, containing names of foreign agents and details of their activities. Most of the agents were active in West Germany.
The Rosenholz Files ended up in CIA hands in unclear circumstances following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
Almgren last year published a book about Swedish relations with East Germany’s communist dictatorship. In it, she describes the very close relationship between Social Democratic politician Stellan Arvidson and his wife Britta, and their admiration for the country’s totalitarian regime.