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No criminal investigation against cops who kept festival abuse quiet

Published torsdag 14 januari kl 16.47
"Haven't taken a position as to whether it's appropriate"
(1:56 min)
Swedish Police and the Swedish Prosecution Authority. Photo: Sofia Valve / Swedish Radio.
Swedish Police and the Swedish Prosecution Authority. Photo: Sofia Valve / Swedish Radio.

The public prosecutor has decided that it was not against the law for Stockholm police to downplay their work battling mass sex assaults at the "We are Sthlm" festival.

Some have accused the police of failing to deal with gangs of young men and who organised attacks, and linked this to the suspects alleged foreign backgrounds. The police were also chastized for not publicly releasing information about the alleged sexual assaults.

But prosecutor Mats Åhlund says to Radio Sweden he finds no grounds to think that the police have neglected their duties in a criminal way.

There has been widespread condemnation of the police, after an officer told newspaper Dagens Nyheter that "Sometimes we do not really say how things are because we believe it may play into the hands of the (anti-immigration) Sweden Democrats".

The prosecutor says to Radio Sweden that "the most serious criticism that I have been informed of is that the police could have covered up details regarding the festivals. And I have made the call that if police don't go out with this kind of information, it's not a crime."

Mats Åhlund adds that he is not saying whether the police have done their job properly or not, rather that he was simply looking at whether their actions constitute a crime.

And on the criticism against what police have said in the media, he has passed the matter on to the Chancellor of Justice, who has jurisdiction here.

Regarding allegations that police have failed to take up reports of crimes, he says he has no reason to believe, from the evidence he has, that police have committed crimes in this way.

He tells Radio Sweden that if the police have information showing that officers have failed to act on reported crimes, or failed to pursue cases, that they should report themselves to the prosecutor's office, and he also urges members of the public who may have any evidence showing crimes by police to report it to his office.

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