Prosecutors ask government for emergency funding

Sweden’s Prosecutor-General has gone straight to the government with a request for 59 million kronor ($9.8 million) to help with the Prosecution Authority’s financial crisis.

The request includes a one-time infusion of funds, as well as an expanded budget.

The Prosecutor-General hopes to have a response to his request before the summer.

The agency’s economic situation is bleak, and work is piling up. Come autumn, court hearings are expected to be canceled if no action is taken, writes the Svenksa Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

Prosecutors fear the crisis will deepen if they don’t get more money to support their work.

In addition to their concern that trials may be called off, prosecutors also worry that a lack of new funds will result in further delays in investigations, as well as personnel being forced to go without pay and eventually leaving the agency.

Savings measures put forward by the Prosecutor-General to help balance the agency’s books amount to the equivalent of about 40 prosecutors.

The crisis has been caused in part by a steady increase in the number of cases since 2001. As the police have been given more resources and made more arrests, Sweden’s prosecutors have seen an increase in the number of investigations, indictments and legal proceedings.

In addition, the Prosecution Authority also find itself involved in more joint investigations carried out in cooperation with other agencies.

The problem is most acute in Stockholm, but other cities in Sweden such as Kalmar, Norrköping and Halmstad are also having trouble keeping pace, according to SvD.

Next week, a previously postponed case in Varberg District Court in western Sweden will be canceled because the prosecutor from Halmstad needs to prioritize other work.