Report to Sweden’s Parlamentary Obudsmen

Report made to the Parliamentary Obudsmen against Sweden’s Prosecution Authority for negligence and misconduct when failing to initiate an investigation regarding war crimes and crimes against humanity in Libya in 2011

Registration number 1643-2012.
Officer Per Lagerrud.

Click here to support the report!

Click here for the original war crimes report.

The text below is a quick translation – report originally written in Swedish.

17th March 2012

JO
Box 16327
103 26 Stockholm
SWEDEN

 

Report to the Parliamentary Obudsmen: negligence and misconduct for failing to initiate an investigation regarding war crimes

Suspects

Prosecutor-General’s office

Peter Lundkvist, acting Chief Prosecutor
Jenny Ahlner Wetterqvist, Prosecutor

Stockholm Development Center:

Thomas Häggström, Chief Prosecutor
Roger Waldenström, Prosecutor

The International Prosecution Chamber in Stockholm:

Lise Tamm, deputy Chief Prosecutor

 

Registration numbers

ÅM 2012/1211 (Prosecutor-General’s Office)
ÅM 2011/8263 (Stockholm Development Center)
AM-185260-11 (International Prosecution Chamber in Stockholm)

 

The process

On November 4, 2011, a number of cabinet members, MPs, and military personell war reported for various crimes against international law.

The background to the report was Sweden’s participation in the war against Libya in 2011

Seventeen days later, on November 21, 2011, deupty Chief Prosecutor Lise Tamm dismissed the report.

Her legal justification:

The reported event is not a crime.

The expediency with which the report was dismissed, without any explanation, indicates that Tamm may not have given the reported events the attention they required in order to be able to make an informed decision.

Why?

On December 9, 2011, a request for review of Tamm’s decision was filed. This time, the plaintiffs took it upon themselves to inform the prosecution of some of the provisions of the law surrounding the offenses, which the International Prosecution Chamber apparently “missed” the first time.

Three weeks later, on December 30, 2011, prosecutors Roger Waldenström and Thomas Häggström dismissed the request for a review on the grounds that those who reported the crimes were not plaintiffs and that there were no other reasons to launch an investigation.

Their decision was emailed to the plaintiffs.

One of the plaintiffs immediatelly replied and requested clarification on a number of points, one among them legal status of those that filed the reports (i.e. the plaintiffs).

Two weeks later a written response arrived. It did not answer a single one of the numbered questions raised.

On February 20, 2012 a second request for review was sent to prosecutors Waldenström/Häggström at the development center.

The request included references to provisions in the law which confirmed that those individuals who filed the report were also legal plaintiffs.

Thirteen days later acting Chief Prosecutor Peter Lundqvist and prosecutor Jenny Ahlner Wetterqvist at the Prosecutor-General’s Office dismissed this second request for review.

The sole explanation given for the dismissal was that the prosecution is unable to initiate investigations against cabinet members. Nothing was mentioned about the two other categories of suspects: military personell and MPs.

These thirteen days deserves to be compared the fourteen days it took deputy Chief Prosecutor Lise Tamm to dismiss the report the first time.

During these thirteen days, it was not (as in the case of Lise Tamm) one instance of Sweden’s Prosecution Authority that would process the report, but two: at first the development center, which had to consider the new information forwarded which confirmed the reporters to also be plaintiffs, and secondly, the Prosecutor-General’s Office – to which the case was brand new.

In this context, the second para under the heading “Background” [Bakgrund] in the Prosecutor-Generals decision raises questions. The para states that files have been available to the Office when it made itäs decision. Aside the question of what documents were actually in these files, the wording as such does not say whether or not the prosecutors at the office really read all the documentation.

All together, the question may very well be: did the staff at the Prosecutor-General’s Office even bother to read all the documentation before dismissing the report?

Misconduct/Negligence

The plaintiffs who now reports this to Sweden’s Parliamentary Ombudsmen believe a number of serious mistakes have been committed by the above mentioned prosecutors. Find below some of the more obvious. Perhaps the Parliamentary Ombudsmen will find others:

  1. The International Public Prosecutor’s Chamber: not to initiate an investigation. The time elapsed between when the initial report was received and when it was dismissed indicates that the report was never taken seriously and never really looked at.

    How does the prosecution chamber understand the term “duty to prosecute”?

    The International Public Prosecution Chamber in Stockholm is supposed to be specialized in investigating the types of crimes reported, yet the prosecutor in question cannot even bring herself to offer a few sentences, explaining why she dismisses the charges as reported.

  2. The Stockholm Development Center: to initially dismiss the request for a review on the basis not of a law, but a nebulous and contextually irrelevant reasoning found in a nearly twenty year old parlamentary budget proposal, followed by persisting with the dismissal of the report on the erroneous ground that the plaintiffs somehow are totally unrelated to the matter.

    The result of the last point is that this case has escalated enormously, from being a matter a crimes committed in a war in a foreign country, to a more timeless question of the relationship between a state and its citizens.

    Which is the relationship between the state and citizens in Sweden – really?

    Is it completely one-sided, to the state’s benefit? Are citizens only tax-cattle with obligations and no rights whatsoever?

    In clause one para one of the Swedish Constitution, it is declared that all public power is derived from the people. Still, Sweden’s Prosecution Authority persists with the idea that somehow the plaintiffs lack a legal connection to the humanitarian and geopolitcal disaster created – in the name of the plaintiffs – by the government of Sweden in Libya in 2011.

    We, the plaintiffs, see an enormous responsibility now resting with the Parlamentary Ombudsmen to investigate the very serious misconduct and negligence Sweden’s Prosecution Authoriy is guilty of in this case.

  3. The Prosecutor-General: To dismiss the application with a statement applicable to only one of the three groups reported, and remaining silent on all our points raised in our request for review.

    If the Prosecutor-General believes it is legally restrained from prosecuting Cabinet Members – what stops it from investigating the other two other reported categories: military personell and MPs.

In addition, the Prosecution Authority’s handling of the matter has been such that we feel misconduct is also the case wiht respect to Sweden’s Freedom of Information laws and the laws that regulate the level of service that cna be expected from government bodies.

We ask that when the Parlamentary Obudsmen starts its investigation, it does so with the understanding that it can itself launch criminal investigations against both the named individuals from the Prosecution Authority as well as the war crimes investigation initially called for.

Attachements:

  1. Report of serious crimes subject to public prosecution
  2. Decision, the International Prosecution Chamber in Stockholm
  3. Request for review
  4. Decision, the Stockholm Development Center
  5. Request for clarification
  6. Response to request for clarification
  7. Request for review
  8. Decision, Prosecutor-General
  9. Letter from one of the plaintiffs

Sincerely,

Kristoffer Hell
Johan Hansson
Simon Hansson
Johan Björnsson
Johan Westerholm
Lena Holfve
Pauli Terho
Thomas Johansson
Akasha Skaldeman
Björn Sveninge
Johan Lindqvist
Mikael Forsberg
Håkan Larsson
Mikael Vatjus
Ylva Runald
Patrique Dordevic
Mako Ishikawa
Jakob Gezelius
Lisa Carn
Peter Waher
Kristoffer Strutzenblad
Lars Pettersson
Tony Dahlgren
Felix Hendar
Bengt Larsson Kungsmad
Håkan Berggren
Markus Andersson
Mattias Gyllenhak Liss
Ove Mollvik
Peter K. Pettersson
Peter Harrysson
Agne Gralby
Carl Lundström
Rolf Andersson
Andreas Lovén
Lasse Wilhelmsson
Anders Paulsson
Linda Karlström
Sören Johansson
Armin Dee
Julian Jönsson
Sebastian Sjöberg
Gabriel Amanatiadis
Gunnar Nordin
Stefan Lundblad
Arne Bengtsson
Ross Mercke
Hans Persberger
Li Lörs
Sverker Odesjö
Rolf Sjöwall
Ergin Aris
Christer Andersson
Leif Erlingsson
Percy Andersson
Tobias Nilsson
Hans Carlsson
Camilla Hansson
Thomas Björling
Ingerun Osbakk
Sören Backman
Stig Engwall
Kjell Pedersson
Tiina Ronelöv
Jayant Bäckström
Johan Djupström
Kent Fredriksson
Kerstin Pettersson
Rita Bardsäter
Thomas Andersson
Mats Berglund
Yngve Appelblad
Roger Karlsson
Johan Sandwall
Hans Häggqvist
Jakob Lipczynski
Lennart Andersson
Birgitta Svedjot
Jan-Ola Gustavsson
Lars Lindeberg
Mattias Thidé
Carl Hamilton
Kent Strömbäck
David Ringstedt
Markus Påhlsson
Lars Dahlström

 

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