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King unaware of friend's contact with criminal

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10:07 CEST+02:00
The royal court confirmed Friday that it was King Carl XVI Gustaf's friend that can be heard on a tape negotiating with major criminals, reported news agency TT. But a press secretary for the royal court says the King was not informed that the contact took place.

The royal court's press secretary, Bertil Ternert, told news agency TT that the King has heard the recording of his friend, Anders Lettström, chatting with Daniel Webb, a bodyguard of alleged Swedish gangster Milan Sevo. Ternert said there was no reason to question the authenticity of the recording.

But he says the King did not know about the contact. “This is a person who hasn't informed or briefed the royal court or the King about this,” he told TT. “This was on his own initiative.”

Lettström allegedly met with known criminals in an attempt to stop the publication of information about the king's rumored activities at strip clubs. These activities were later described in a book -- Carl XVI Gustaf - Den motvillige monarken" ('Carl XVI Gustaf - The Reluctant Monarch') – that was published last year.

The source of the information in the book is a former night club owner who claims that he has some sort of photo evidence. In the recently released recordings, the bodyguard and a person who says he is the king's friend are heard on the tape having a discussion about how to contact one of the book's sources to find out what type of sensitive material he had.

Details of the meetings will come out in the form of a new book by a bodyguard of a gangster leader who is thought to have been contacted.

Lettström denies making contact with any criminals.

Meanwhile, Lena Olsson, the Left Party representative in the parliamentary committee on justice, is calling for a truth commission to investigate the revelations about the King and his friend's contact with the criminals.

She sent a letter to Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt out of concern that the King, who is chairman of the advisory council of foreign affairs, could be subjected to blackmail. Olsson wants the King to take a time out from the advisory council.

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