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Marcus Allbäck named in bribery probe

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Marcus Allbäck named in bribery probe
18:24 CEST+02:00
Criminal suspicions have surfaced involving Marcus Allbäck, a former striker for Sweden's national team and current assistant trainer, in connection with the Gothenburg construction corruption scandal.

According to state prosecutor Nils-Erik Schultz, Allbäck is suspected as serving as an accomplice to aggravated breach of trust (grov trolöshet mot huvudman) and has been offered a public defender.

However, Schultz refused to elaborate further on the suspicions against Allbäck, adding that he has not been formally informed of the suspicions against him.

"I had actually requested that the name be kept secret, but the district court nullified the order, so I'm not going to comment on it," Schultz told the TT news agency.

Speaking to the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) newspaper, Allbäck's attorney said his client denied the accusations.

"This is totally absurd," Björn Breitfeld told the newspaper.

"We are totally convinced that they will realise their on the wrong track once they see the documentation that Marcus has for everything."

According to GP, the suspicions stem from the cost of work carried out on Allbäck's private home which may have been covered by a municipal housing company.

But Breitfeldt insisted Allbäck paid for all the work himself.

Nevertheless, Allbäck told the newspaper the accusations were "expected" but welcomed the opportunity to clear up questions about the suspected deal.

Allbäck's father, Stefan Allbäck, a local construction magnate, is also implicated in the scandal for his dealings with several representatives from municipal housing companies in Gothenburg.

The allegations emerged in April 2010 following an investigative report by Sveriges Television (SVT) which claimed that the elder Allbäck secured contracts for various public projects in return for carrying out various private construction jobs for municipal officials.

The contracts were then charged to the municipality at a cost in excess of their value.

In December 2010, Stefan Allbäck was informed he was under suspicion for aggravated bribery and fraud in connection with the wide-ranging probe.

On April 28th, former housing chief Olle Lundgren became the first person convicted in connection with the scandal when he was sentenced to six months in prison for aggravated bribery.

Lundgren, the former head of municipal housing company Poseidon, was convicted for having received 24 tonnes of free bricks with an estimated market value of at least 85,000 kronor ($13,500) from a contractor.

Marcus Allbäck played for Sweden's national side from 1999 until 2008, notching 30 goals in 74 matches. He spent the bulk of his professional career with Gothenburg club Ögryte (ÖIS), punctuated by stints at FC Copenhagen and Aston Villa.

He has served as an assistant trainer for the Swedish national team since 2009.

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