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Håkan Juholt subject to criminal investigation

TT/The Local/pvs · 10 Oct 2011, 15:30

Published: 10 Oct 2011 15:30 GMT+02:00

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Alf Johansson, a prosecutor at the National Anti-Corruption Unit (Riksenheten för korruption), has now handed over the case to the Swedish National Police Crimes Unit (Riksenheten för polismål) in accordance with regulations for alleged crimes involving Swedish MPs.

The Social Democrats issued a statement shortly after the prosecutor's announcement on Monday.

"I welcome the preliminary investigation. A full inquiry is important," Juholt said, explaining that he planned to work fully with the police on the matter.

When the details first emerged on Friday, Juholt immediately held a hastily arranged press conference in which he admitted to the situation and declared his intention to repay the money, which has been reported to be 160,000 kronor ($23,800).

Juholt furthermore repeated his assertion that he had not read the regulations thoroughly.

"I have erred in not studying the rules with regards to the residences of MPs. I apologise for that. I want to underline that I have not claimed too much remuneration deliberately."

Details emerged at the weekend over when Håkan Juholt first became aware that it he had first received erroneous payments for his residence in Stockholm from the Riksdag.

According to information published by the Aftonbladet daily, the Social Democrat leader was first warned in an internal audit in 2009, information which contradicts the explanation offered by Juholt at a press conference on Friday.

Story continues below…

Håkan Juholt on Friday claimed that he had only been made aware that if he lived with someone else then the rental payment should be halved, a month ago.

In response to the allegations in Aftonbladet, Juholt gave an interview with the TT news agency on Sunday in which he denied the reports.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:17 October 10, 2011 by Rishonim
They look like the average swedish couple to me
16:46 October 10, 2011 by Mzungu
Why the suspicion?

*he's a politician int he?*
16:53 October 10, 2011 by Tysknaden
What a beautiful couple they are!
16:57 October 10, 2011 by StockholmSam
I don't expect the politicians to read ALL of the regulations that govern our lives. They are, after all, only human. But at that level of power, they damned well better have a staff surrounding them that checks every single nook, cranny and shadow for even the slightest hint of misappropriation. Something this simple should have been caught long before he got this far. For that reason, I am less inclined to believe that this was a mere oversight. One more crooked politician? Too early to tell, but it doesn't look good for him right now.
17:07 October 10, 2011 by RobinHood
Last month an Italian politician was convicted for the crime of hurting his son during a holiday in Stockholm. His defence, that he did not know the relevant law in Sweden, was quite rightly rejected by the court; ignorance of the law is no defence. If it were everybody would say they didn't know the law, and nobody would ever be convicted of anything.

Mr Julholt does not deny he took 160 000 Crowns from the state. In fact, he says he will repay the money. I assume and hope Mr Julholt is an intelligent man with full use of his faculties. When he claimed large amounts of money from the state, it was his duty to make sure he was entitled to do so. He didn't trouble to read and understand the rules, but helped himself to the money all the same. Just like with the Italian politician, ignorance of the law should be no defence. Equally, stupidity and ignorance is no proper defence either. Mr Julholt should be found guilty of theft as a consequence of his greed, and considering the large amount involved sent to prison.

Of course investigating, prosecuting, convicting and incarcerating the leader of Sweden's largest political party of theft, is a huge responsibility, that would require great resolve, independence, probity and even bravery from Sweden's police, prosecutors and judiciary. I have absolutely no doubt some way will be found to brush this affair under the carpet.
20:18 October 10, 2011 by hughknows
So he's not Mario; he's Wario!!
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