New documents point to innocence of convicted Swedish “spy”

Bertil Ströberg

Bertil Ströberg

A man who was jailed in Sweden in 1983 for spying on behalf of the Eastern Bloc may be innocent, according to an investigation by Sweden’s TV4 channel. On May 20, 1983, Bertil Ströberg was arrested in Stockholm’s main post office, while picking up correspondence for a ‘Sven-Roland Larsson’. What he didn’t know is that Sweden’s Security Service (SAPO) was looking for Larsson after it had surreptitiously opened a letter addressed to the Polish embassy in Stockholm. The letter, which was signed by Larsson, contained a number of classified Swedish security documents and requested $25,000 Swedish kronor ($3,500) in return for further secret information. During his closed-door trial, Ströberg claimed he had made the acquaintance of someone calling himself ‘Sven-Roland Larsson’ in Stockholm, who later sent him a letter asking him to pick up a delivery in his name from the city’s main post office. However, the judges refused to believe his story and sentenced him to six years imprisonment on espionage charges. But according to Sweden’s investigative television program Kalla Fakta (Cold Facts), Ströberg may in fact have been telling the truth. In researching Ströberg’s case, the program’s producers managed to gain access to SAPO’s relevant file, which had apparently not been made available to his legal team. Among other documents, the file contains a letter from Lennart Savemark, a SAPO operative who specialized in infiltrating Eastern Bloc embassies in Sweden in the years after World War II. In the letter, Savemark says that in 1958 he was also “personally targeted” by a ‘Sven-Roland Larsson’, who was probably working for a communist country, and who did not physically resemble Ströberg. This tip by a Swedish intelligence agent whose loyalty to SAPO is above reproach, according to insiders, could have absolved Ströberg had it been made available during his 1983 trial. SAPO has promised to investigate.

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About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

One Response to New documents point to innocence of convicted Swedish “spy”

  1. G M Savemark says:

    May Justice prevail

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