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Former Swedish minister charged with sexual molestation

A former Swedish MP and minister faces charges of three cases of sexual molestation, according to Swedish media citing prosecutors.

Former Swedish minister charged with sexual molestation
Eskil Erlandsson pictured in 2017. Photo: Alexander Larsson Vierth / TT

Former rural affairs minister Eskil Erlandsson, of the Centre Party, resigned from parliament in March following groping allegations.

Four female MPs said that Erlandsson touched them without their consent during lunch and dinner meetings, prompting the Centre Party to ask for his resignation. Prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation the following week, and on Monday initiated prosecution proceedings, meaning the case will go to court.

“It applies to three incidents; three different women and three different events,” prosecutor Lena Kastlund told Expressen, which was first to report the news.

“Originally, it was about four different women, but one case was closed because the identity of the alleged victim was unclear.”

She said she thought the trial would begin in autumn, but that the court has not yet set a date. Erlandsson has denied the allegations. 

READ ALSO: How does Sweden's criminal justice system work?

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POLITICS

Swedish PM’s top aide resigns over illegal eel fishing

One of Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson's top aides has resigned from his post after it emerged that he had been fined by police for illegally fishing for eels and had twice lied to the authorities about what happened.

Swedish PM's top aide resigns over illegal eel fishing

PM Nilsson lied twice to police about eel fishing equipment he was caught with, the second time after he was appointed as state secretary at the end of October. 

After the resignation, Kristersson said he was disappointed that Nilsson, who had previously been a columnist for the Dagens Industri newspaper, had had to step down. 

“I think of course that it is unfortunate that this situation has come about, but I understand his decision,” he said in a written comment to the TT newswire. “PM Nilsson has been a highly appreciated member of the team and is a highly competent person. We are going to miss him.” 

READ ALSO: Why a political aide’s eel denial is causing friction in Sweden

Nilsson announced his decision on Facebook, saying that he had already apologised and paid the fines. 

“I understand how improper it is to fish for eels without a permit and to not tell things as they were to the authorities, even if I have since then rung the police and admitted that I had caught 15 fish,” he wrote in the post. 

Nilsson was recently fined for poaching eel in 2021, and has admitted to having lied to police in a conversation just before Christmas when he claimed that the eel-fishing equipment he had been caught with was not his. He later regretted this decision and informed the police.  

In his Facebook post, Nilsson referred to media reports that police were now investigating him for a further crime of contravening a law to protect endangered species, saying he did not know if this were the case. 

The opposition Social Democrats on Monday referred Ulf Kristersson to the parliament’s Committee on the Constitution, requiring him to explain the situation around Nilsson, and about whether Kristersson knew of the poaching incident when he appointed him, and also on the security vetting which took place. 

“We need to get clarity about how the process of recruiting him took place,” Ardalan Shekarabi, the party’s justice spokesman, said. “What we are chiefly reacting against is that the state secretary lied to the authorities.”

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