On Wednesday The Local reported how the revelations by the broadcaster that the Swedish government has been involved in a project to aid the building of an arms factory in Saudi Arabia through the Swedish Defence Research Agency (Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut, FOI) has caused strong reactions among Swedish politicians.
However, new secret documents made public by SR now show that the Swedish export control council, a parliamentary advisory body where politicians from all the Riksdag’s parties are represented, were informed of the deal as early as May 2010.
However, moderate mp Björn Leivik who was present at the meeting says that there wasn’t much debate around the Saudi question, as there was a deal in place between Sweden and the Saudis.
“There was an agreement between our two countries. That was what ruled the arrangement and we couldn’t really have any views on that,” he told SR.
A secret memo also showed that FOI, after giving up the plans to launch the project through a front company, found another solution for the task, using an already existing company called Grontmij AB.
The company would lead the project with FOI as adviser, and the agency was privy to the ongoing plans at least until the plans were made public on Tuesday, according to SR’s sources.
Niklas Sörensen, vice president of Grontmij was not willing to speak to the broadcaster about the company’s involvement.
“It is not my job to take responsibility for communications in this matter. You will have to speak to the director general of the FOI,” he told SR.