Sweden to probe Belarus teddy-drop stunt

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Sweden to probe Belarus teddy-drop stunt

Prosecutors in Sweden announced on Tuesday that they had taken over the official investigation from Lithuania into a Swedish PR firm's stunt of dropping "pro free speech" teddy bears near the Belarusian capital.


The Swedish Prosecution Authority (Riksåklagaren) announced that it would be taking over the case at the request of Lithuania.

"In accordance with international agreements between Sweden and Lithuania, there is a legal base for the Swedish side to handle the investigation, due to the fact that Swedish citizens are involved in the case," the Riksåklagaren said in a statement.

"The fact that Sweden is taking over the prosecution means that a Swedish investigation will now be launched. It cannot be said where the investigation will lead at this point in time."

The prosecutors will investigate a flight from July 4th, orchestrated by Swedish advertising agency Studio Total.

The plane dropped hundreds of teddy bears attached to little parachutes carrying signs calling for freedom of speech and human rights in Belarus, a move that infuriated the government in Minsk.

A border guard who was on duty at the time of the flight was jailed in February for two years for failing to stop the stuffed-animal assault.

The case will be handled at the Swedish Prosecutors Office (Internationella åklagarkammaren) in Stockholm.

TT/The Local/og

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