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Swedish MEP warned over psychological harassment of assistants

Updated onsdag 23 november 2016 kl 13.09
Published onsdag 23 november 2016 kl 09.40
Jasenko Selimovic: I am innocent
(2:17 min)
Janek Selimovic.
Janek Selimovic on Tuesday. Credit: Cecilia Klint/TT

Swedish Liberal MEP Jasenko Selimovic has been reprimanded by the EU parliament for his behaviour toward his parliamentary assistants constituting psychological harassment.

After an investigation lasting several months, Austrian politician Ulrike Lunacek, Vice President of the European Parliament , announced the decision on Tuesday night.

The warning is the mildest reprimand or punishment an MEP can receive, however it is the first time that a Swedish MEP has had such a reprimand.

Details of the psychological harassment are unclear. News agency TT has revealed sources that say Selimovic's four parliamentary assistants, who served for a long time under the now retired Liberal MEP Marit Poulsen, were feeling worse and worse under his leadership.

They were accused of sabotaging his work, TT says, and faced various conspiracy theories and were subject to psychological harassment which broke down their self-esteem. Today three have left their jobs while the other is on sick leave.

Jasenko Selimovic himself has now broken his silence to comment on the decision by the EU parliament.

In a statement, he says that he is "dismayed to receive a warning for the mental harassment of his assistants". He respects the decision but he is innocent.

He adds:"It is to me completely foreign to expose my employees to harassment. This has been a wrenching process for everyone and I now look forward to once again focusing on parliamentary work. I am pleased that the office today works very well".

The MEP has two weeks to appeal the decision.

Meanwhile his party, the Liberals, have referred the matter to its internal ethics committee.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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