‘Leak’ about surveillance of the left in Sweden. Coincidence?
Today, media in Sweden have covered a former officers allegations that SÄPO (Swedens Security Police) has been doing surveillance on the Left party (Vänsterpartiet (v)), formerly known as the Communist Left party (Vänsterpartiet Kommunisterna (vpk)).
However, the officers allegations seem fishy to say the least. It is not the first time he has made them, he did so a couple of years back at a hearing at Stockholm University. Even back then, some of the arrangers of the hearing questioned the accuracy of the officers claims, and he had to be asked to stop speaking.
The former head of Swedish criminal police (Rikskrim), Tommy Lindström, says that the officer, Hans-Erik Sjöholm, asked questions at the hearing which seemed to imply that he had been doing undercover work for the Customs Criminal Investigation section (Tullkrim), to which Lindström had replied that it was impossible, as Tullkrim at the time always used Rikskrim for such task. Towards the end of the hearing, Lindström says Sjöholm began to “kook out” when met with resistance against the claims he made.
The history of the officer and former customs official also seems odd. He had to leave the his position at the Life Guards Cavalry Barracks in Stockholm, after being accused of extreme right-wing connections.
Sjöholm has also previously appeared in the media, including TV4, which he argued that the Customs Service acted improperly in a major criminal investigation. The allegations were investigated by the Customs Department and the Prosecutor’s Office, but the case was closed. After the decision in Customs’ personnel committee was then Sjöholm leave the service because of lack of cooperation, among other things he had covertly recording his colleagues for years.
Looking at Sjöholms’s Facebook page also reveals an odd pattern. He is friends with several members of the Swedish Democrat party (Sverigedemokraterna (sd)), and likes several extreme right-wing pages.
So the question is:
- is he simply a right-wing kook trying to ride the wave of the Snowden revelations,
- is this part of a general scheme by right-wingers across the globe,
- or are his revelations legit?
I don’t know what to make of Sjöholms revelations, but the coincidence strikes me as odd, as well as similarities with the Snowden case. So I thought I might give you guys a heads up as my first post here. Is this kind of ‘leaking’ starting to become a pattern?
My Source Materials:
- thelocal.se: SÄPO infiltrated the Left party: report [English]
- Expressen.se: Officer allegedly infiltrated V [Swedish (translated via Google Translate)]
- Expressen.se: Ohly: "Utterly incomprehensible by Sapo" [Swedish (translated via Google Translate)]
Some final notes: I speak Swedish and English fluently, enough to do good translations, and am willing to answer questions about the articles if Google is too incomprehensible to you. Also, some more info on the officer making the allegations:
- Name: Hans-Erik Sjöholm
- Age: 48.
- Picture of Sjöholm