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Mona Sahlin quits in bodyguard mortgage fiasco

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Mona Sahlin quits in bodyguard mortgage fiasco
Mona Sahlin. Photo: TT
11:22 CEST+02:00
UPDATE: Mona Sahlin has stepped down from her position as Sweden's national coordinator against violent extremism, after revelations that she had misrepresented her bodyguard's salary to help him secure a mortgage.

The Swedish newspaper Expressen revealed on Wednesday that Sahlin provided written certification that her bodyguard earned 120,000 kronor a month so that he could buy an apartment. The bodyguard, in fact, only earned 43,000 kronor a month.

When confronted by Expressen, Sahlin initially stated that she had paid the difference out of her own pocket, before retracting the statement when it was proven by Expressen to be false.

The Ministry of Culture and Democracy then announced that Sahlin had resigned with immediate effect.

“I respect Mona Sahlin's decision to resign. She has done much valuable work in her role as national coordinator against violent extremism,” said Culture and Democracy Minister, Alice Bah Kuhnke.

Mårten Schultz, professor of civil law at Stockholm University, told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet  that the revelation is "very worrying".

“If the certificate was intentionally incorrect that can mean misrepresentation - a crime that can mean up to two years in prison.”

According to Expressen the bodyguard in question has also resigned his post. 

Swedish media were quick to point out similarities to the so-called Toblerone case of 1995 when Sahlin, then deputy prime minister of a Social Democrat government, was found to have used her government credit card to pay for private expenses.

Sahlin used the credit card to make hundreds of kronor of personal purchases, including a rental car and chocolate and nappies for her children.

Although she had repaid the money before the newspaper story appeared, public opinion was critical and she was forced to resign.

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