• Sweden's news in English

Bildt accused of aiding Russia in legal dispute

AFP/The Local · 10 Aug 2012, 15:17

Published: 10 Aug 2012 15:17 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"We've received a request to examine the actions of the foreign minister," Ann Charlotte Bragsjoe, a spokeswoman for KU, the committee which scrutinizes the actions of government ministers, said.

The matter concerns the Swedish repossession authority's planned sale of a building in Stockholm owned by Russia.

A German businessman, Franz Sedelmayer, saw his Saint Petersburg business expropriated by Russia in the mid-1990s. The seizure was brought before a Stockholm arbitration court, which ruled it illegal in 1998, Sedelmayer told AFP.

The court ordered Russia to pay Sedelmayer 30 million kronor ($4.5 million), plus court costs, for a total of around 40 million kronor.

Moscow refused to pay, and the matter was in 2003 taken to the Swedish repossession agency, the Enforcement Authority, which has seized the Stockholm building and plans to sell it in order to pay the Russian debt to Sedelmayer.

The Swedish Supreme Court in July 2011 ruled there was no legal reason to halt the sale.

The head of the opposition Green Party, Aasa Romson, accused Bildt of "ministerial interference" after he wrote a letter to the authority on July 27 claiming that the sale would harm Sweden's ties with Russia.

"He did it for Russia," Sedelmayer charged.

On his blog, Bildt wrote: "I strongly welcome (the parliamentary examination of the issue), as it may lead to improved knowledge of these very important issues."

Meanwhile, a spokewoman for the agency, Maria Mindhammar, told AFP "there is nothing notable" about the letter.

"It is not an attempt to influence us," but rather a normal exchange as the foreign ministry is specialised in diplomatic issues, she said.

Story continues below…

The sale is scheduled for September 7.

The parliamentary committee is due to examine the matter in the spring of 2013, Bragsjoe said.

If found guilty of wrongdoing, Bildt risks a reprimand but it is unlikely there would be any other consequences.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

19:15 August 12, 2012 by OUIJA
Why do you think he has a big nose? Well, simply to put it into some other counntries affairs and get something for that. His list of clients are huge.
Today's headlines
Swedish PM visits Iraq for talks on Isis
Stefan Löfven (left) and Haider al-Abadi (right). Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Stefan Löfven will discuss the offensive on Mosul with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Illicit abattoir kept more than 100 bulls' penises
A couple of young bulls not related to the story. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Dried cattle genitalia, goats' heads and hundreds of litres of lard were just a few of the many strange finds discovered when police raided a property in Sweden.

This is officially Sweden's most beautiful beard
The most beautiful beard in Sweden. Photo: Memo Göcek

According to a jury of barbers and 'well known bearded profiles', that is.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm

You might think it’s hard to make friends in a new city. But if at first you don’t succeed – try something else!

Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Swedish photographer shot near Mosul
Hansen was being operated on in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Sunday. Photo: Nora Lorek/ TT

Paul Hansen, a photographer working for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has sustained light injuries after being hit by what appears to be a sniper while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission- free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available