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Gothenburg bribery trial gets under way

TT/The Local · 31 Mar 2011, 11:50

Published: 31 Mar 2011 11:50 GMT+02:00

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Olle Lundgren, the former head of municipal housing company Poseidon, allegedly received free bricks with an estimated market value of at least 85,000 kronor ($13,500) from contractor Weinerberger.

Lundgren's own wife alerted authorities to the alleged bribe, and is scheduled to testify against her husband in the case.

The Gothenburg corruption scandal also involves the municipal housing firm Familjebostäder and the city’s sports and clubs division, as well as the relationship between construction magnate Stefan Allbäck and municipal officials.

Prosecutor Nils-Eric Schultz smiled at reporters as he arrived at the district court but declined to comment on the case. Schultz began the trial by outlining the details of the case against Lundgren, who denies having committed an offence.

Lundgren’s lawyer, Anders Munck, said his client agreed he had received the bricks but insisted that he believed he had paid for them. Lundgren claimed to have paid 33,000 kronor to the company that delivered the bricks.

Until the bribery accusations emerged last year, Munck said his client was convinced he had covered the cost of the building materials.

“It was only in later years that he understood that he had paid for the transport of the bricks,” said Munck.

Lundgren told the court about his plans to build a house. He had decided to oversee the project himself and was in touch with a number of suppliers.

He said he had been looking for materials that needed no maintenance and decided to opt for Weinerberger’s bricks. He explained that Weinerberg had initiated the contact, having heard about his project from an architect.

“We agreed on a price, which I didn’t remember how high it was, but I thought it was a very good price,” he said.

Lundgren told Schulz he had not had any previous dealings with the company but did not consider that he was taking a risk working with them.

He agreed that the price he paid seemed very good, but said he did not feel he was given favourable treatment because of his position as head of Poseidon.

Story continues below…

Bo Wenner, who worked for Weinerberger in 2003 when Lundgren received the delivery of bricks, told the court that the company had given Poseidon chief the bricks in the hope that he would help them out in the future.

"The brick market has dipped way down in recent years," said Wenner. "We have had to resort to odd methods in order to sell, including for example special reduction to get onto the building market.

"We gave him the bricks in in exchange for him covering the transportation cost."

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:55 March 31, 2011 by Syftfel
Again, the story is incomplete. To which political party does this conniving thief, snake Lundgren belong? I can only guess that he is a social dem. They seem to have a leg up on this tupe of offense. - "I'm special. I'm chosen. I deserve this". - If anyone knows, please let me know. Is there anything worse than a government official being caught with his hands in the cookie jar? I sure hope he gets it good! And that when he sent to prison, he is housed with violent criminals and rapists.
23:10 March 31, 2011 by Da Goat
I am more worried about the back stabbing wife, there has to be a secondary scandal here somewhere, the bricks evidently must not have been to build her a new house. something is SAD here somewhere!
14:19 April 1, 2011 by sliver
Bribery. Isn't that supposed to involve give and take. Like accept gifts and gratify accordingly or agree to some kind of personal favor. Has it been established that he did or gave something in return?
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