Late on Thursday forestry company Holmen announced that the company’s chair and principle owner Fredrik Lundberg was under suspicion of bribery in connection with Holmen’s hunting trips. Early on Friday morning came the news that deputy chair of investment company Kinnevik and former Finance Minister, Anders Borg, was also under suspicion.
Hans Strandberg, Borg’s lawyer, says, “It concerns a hunting trip he took part in when he was no longer finance minister. However the prosecutor is linking the hunt to his duties as minister.” According to DI the National Anti-Corruption Unit is focusing its investigation on decisions affecting the forestry industry taking by the Ministry of Finance during Borg’s time in office.
Earlier media reports claimed that Anders Borg has paid around SKr 2,500 himself for each hunt, which is considered to be under the value of such a trip. On Friday Borg sent a text message to DI saying: “I am convinced that I have handled this correctly.”
DI reports that the prosecutor is planning to question a further three to six people who participated in the hunts.
The federal prosecution authority in Brazil has accused ex-president Liz Ignácio “Lula” da Silva of a number of crimes including influence trafficking, money laundering and organised crime between 2013 and 2015. The authority claims the improprieties led the Brazilian government to choose to purchase 36 JAS Gripen planes from Saab.
Accusations have also been made against Lula’s son, Luiz Cláudio Lula da Silva, and the Brazilian lobbyist Mauro Marcondes and engineer Cristina Mautoni who together own the lobbying firm M&M. Former president Lula is said to have influenced the government to the advantage of companies including Saab.
Brazilian newspaper O Globo reports that the prosecutors wrote that the lobbyists received over 2.5 million reais (around 7.5 million kronor), which was then transferred to Lula da Silva. They claim that Saab gave 1.84 million euros to M&M and write there is a great deal of evidence to support the accusation. “There is an intensive exchange of emails between employees of M&M and Lula Institute which aim to facilitate a meeting between Lula and the future Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven.”
Saab denies participating in improprieties.
A new study from Transparency International, TI, shows that 92 per cent of Swedes state that business leaders in the country are corrupt to varying degrees, and 15 per cent believe that all or most of business leaders are corrupt. Compared to previous surveys mistrust has grown and business leaders now make up the group Swedes have least trust in when it comes to corruption.
It is most likely recent high-profile corruption scandals that have led to mistrust, says Johan Mörck, from Transparency International Sweden.