Littorin denies buying sex: lawyer

The lawyer of former employment minister Sven Otto Littorin said on Saturday that her client denies Aftonbladet's allegations that he bought sex.

Littorin denies buying sex: lawyer
Photo: Henrik Montgomery/Scanpix (file)

Birgitta Hållenius is representing Littorin in the ongoing custody battle with his ex-wife. Littorin declined to comment on Saturday, but Hållenius told news agency TT that her client rejects the allegations that he bought sex in Saturday’s Aftonbladet.

“My client Sven Otto Littorin denies the crime and specifically rejects the allegations that were published in Aftonbladet,” said Hållenius. “Until further notice, my client will not make any further statements.”

She would not say where Littorin is at present.

Littorin resigned from his post this week after Aftonbladet confronted him about the alleged crime, the newspaper claimed earlier on Saturday.

A 30-year-old woman said she sold sex to the former employment minister. The two met in the late summer or autumn in 2006 and had sex in return for payment, according to the woman’s account.

The newspaper published details of her customers that she had saved on her computer. Among the entries in her address book is a phone number that currently belongs to a representative of a preschool. Aftonbladet said that the preschool has had the number for three years and that it had previously belonged to Littorin, according to preschool.

The woman told the newspaper that she did not want to file a police report. Littorin declined to answer the newspaper’s questions about the alleged crime. Because the alleged crime took place in 2006, the statute of limitations has already passed to prosecute Littorin.

Roberta Alenius, the press officer of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, informed news agency TT that the prime minister will hold a press conference at 11am on Saturday to address Littorin’s alleged crime.

Lena Mellin, acting editor-in-chief of Aftonbladet, said the newspaper waited to publish the story to give Littorin a chance to comment on the allegations about buying sex.

“I think it has been long enough now,” she told TT. “He has had the chance to say that this is not true, which he is not done. I think it is okay to publish.”

According to Mellin, there was pressure from an ethical standpoint, it would not have been wrong to publish the information the day after Aftonbladet had confronted him with the allegations.

“We have in this case been extremely kind to him,” she said.

The newspaper believes that the woman’s story is credible.

“We trust this woman,” said Mellin. “In addition, we have done everything we can technically to verify that what she said is true.”

At the press conference, Reinfeldt said that Littorin told him the allegations were false. He says that Littorin called him on Tuesday evening and said he wanted to leave the government. One of the reasons he gave was that Littorin had been confronted with the allegations by Aftonbladet.

Christian Democratic party leader Göran Hägglund believes that Littorin should come forward and clarify whether the charges against him are true or not.

“I think sooner or later he should tell his version,” said Hägglund. “This applies whether it is true or not. It applies to him as a person and for others to move on from this difficult situation.”

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Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.