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Sweden opens corruption probe over foreign minister's apartment contract
January 19, 2016 / 10:26 AM / 2 years ago

Sweden opens corruption probe over foreign minister's apartment contract

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom gestures during an interview with Sweden's TT News Agency at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in central Stockholm, March 11, 2015. REUTERS/Claudio Bresciani/TT News Agency

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The Swedish Prosecution Authority will open a preliminary investigation over whether an apartment rental contract given to Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom by a trade union constituted a bribe, the authority said in a statement on Tuesday.

Wallstrom rented an apartment in Stockholm in a building owned by trade union Kommunal from April 2015. While a popular minister among voters, she is one of Sweden’s most controversial politicians due to her open criticism of Israel.

“I welcome the investigation. I have nothing to hide and it is good that this will be resolved. I continue to do my job,” Wallstrom said in a written statement to news agency TT.

Chief prosecutor Alf Johansson told TT there were no suspects at this point.

“First, I will investigate whether a crime has been committed, and in connection with that see if someone can be regarded as a suspect,” Johansson told TT.

Apartment contracts are a hard to get in Stockholm, where construction has not been fast enough to accommodate a huge number of new inhabitants over the last few decades.

Reporting by Sven Nordenstam and Johan Ahlander; Editing by Alistair Scrutton

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