First conviction in Gothenburg bribery trial

The fourth case in the ongoing Gothenburg bribery trial has led to a conviction, as a district manager at the municipally run housing company Poseidon was sentenced to a probationary sentence and a fine equalling 80 days’ pay on Monday.

“I have just received the verdict and I haven’t had time to read it all yet, but it is a conviction and it went the way we planned,” regional prosecutor Nils-Eric Schulz told TT.

The district manager was charged with bribery after accepting white wares to a value of 21,000 kronor by a supplier. The Gothenburg district court decided the man was guilty as charged, the first conviction in a series of bribery related trials in Gothenburg.

The three previous trials all led to acquittals but although Schultz is pleased about the sentence he doesn’t think that the conviction will have an impact on future trials in the bribery scandal.

According to Andreas Bågenholm, a researcher at the political science department of the Gothenburg University, corruption and bribery are rather unusual in Sweden.

”International studies show that Sweden is one of the least corrupt countries in the world. But now we see that it obviously occurs anyway. Now they’ve been digging and uncovered untoward things,” he told TT.

Bågenholm is convinced that the scandal in Gothenburg will affect the general public’s faith in officials in a negative way.

”We have a low tolerance level for corruption in Sweden and of course this is not a good thing. This time it was officials who were involved, but it may breed dissatisfaction with politicians not making sure rules are followed,” said Bågenholm to TT.

TT/The Local/rm

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