Sweden Opens Corruption Probe Over FM’s Apartment Contract

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -

The Swedish Prosecution Authority will open a preliminary investigation over whether an apartment rental contract given to Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom by a trade union constituted a bribe, the authority said in a statement on Tuesday.

Wallstrom rented an apartment in Stockholm in a building owned by trade union Kommunal from April 2015. While a popular minister among voters, she is one of Sweden’s most controversial politicians due to her open criticism of Israel.

“I welcome the investigation. I have nothing to hide and it is good that this will be resolved. I continue to do my job,” Wallstrom said in a written statement to news agency TT.

Chief prosecutor Alf Johansson told TT there were no suspects at this point.

“First, I will investigate whether a crime has been committed, and in connection with that see if someone can be regarded as a suspect,” Johansson told TT.

Apartment contracts are a hard-to-get item in Stockholm, where construction has not been fast enough to accommodate a huge increase in the number of new inhabitants over the last few decades.