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Sweden drops Saudi arms deal probe

AFP/The Local · 21 Sep 2012, 12:35

Published: 21 Sep 2012 12:35 GMT+02:00

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"A preliminary inquiry into breach of trust had been opened. Today chief prosecutor Tomas Lindstrand decided to close the preliminary inquiry," said a statement from the prosecution authority.

Public broadcaster Swedish Radio revealed in March that the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) had secret plans since 2007 to help Saudi Arabia build a plant for the production of anti-tank weapons.

Part of the so-called Project Simoom involved, according to Swedish Radio, FOI's alleged creation of a shell company called SSTI to handle dealings with Saudi Arabia, in order to avoid any direct links to FOI and the government.

FOI director general Jan-Olof Lind had himself reported "a suspected crime" to the prosecutor following FOI's own internal review.

"The investigation has been carried out by the Swedish intelligence agency under my guidance. The investigation has shown there is no reason to prosecute," Lindstrand said.

The intelligence agency conducted the probe because of the possibility it would involve details about national security, the statement said.

Sweden has in the past sold weapons to Saudi Arabia, but classified government documents state that Project Simoom "pushes the boundaries of what is possible for a Swedish authority," the radio said when it broke the story on March 6.

Story continues below…

The story has dominated Swedish headlines since then, with numerous politicians and public figures critical of Sweden's plans to provide weapons help to a country they describe as a "dictatorship".

Swedish defence minister Sten Tolgfors resigned in March after weeks of controversy over the revelations.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:09 September 21, 2012 by byke
Does this story make any sense to anyone?

The title says its dropped A preliminary inquiry, and then goes on to say its opened A preliminary inquiry?

Am I missing something here?
18:27 September 21, 2012 by james_g
Yes, you are. It says "A preliminary inquiry ... HAD been opened" (my capitals)
21:44 September 21, 2012 by Archie1954
It is really amazing to me how something as important and deadly as arms dealing can be dropped by the "Justice" department but the persecution (yes it's spelled correctly) continues against Julian Assange for a crime even the so called "victims" don't believe happened. Sweden is a very sick country!
23:38 September 21, 2012 by Ian C. Purdie - Sydney

"Sweden is a very sick country!"

Very sad, very true. And to think people once regarded Sweden as the progressive standard bearer of decency and social progress.

How the mask has slipped and what has been revealed?
02:00 September 22, 2012 by Uncle
Ian C. Purdie - Sydney

"Very sad, very true"

Oh, God the sadness... the truth! My tears refuse to dry... My soul is trembling and the hands are shaking...

Closing military cooperation with a country that no embargo is put on and dropping charges against an alleged rapist would indeed make this country much better. It would return it to the "progressive standard bearer of decency and social progress"..

How lucky, he did not touch some kids, because they FOR SURE would drop any charges against him. Sheep and donkeys as well would not insist on his imprisonment.

We also should stop trading with China, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Marocco, Tunisia, Malaysia.. Then the sensitive idiots with extra sensitive souls would not be able to sit with their Mac's in coffee shops and express their opinions on the breaks between thoughtful memoir writing and Nietzsche reading...
20:03 September 22, 2012 by Gjeebes
Sweden profitted greatly during world war II by selling weapons to anyone who would pay., instead of having any balls to fight for something Why would they pretend to care now if their customer was a dictator? Gimme a break! Of course, whatever extent Swedes were ahead by not having to rebuild a ruined nation, is now lost in a ruined nation.
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