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Foreign Ministry top official Pierre Schori intervened
when the police wanted to investigate the CIA

By Anders Leopold
(Leopold Report updated 100505)
Deputy Chief Investigator Ingemar Krusell to Leopold Report: It felt damned awful to be stopped this way by forces in high places when investigating a murder of a Prime Minister.

The Palme investigators were not allowed to obtain information about the CIA.

Nine highly controversial questions about the CIA's activities i. a. at the time preceding the assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme - intended to be sent to Ambassador Wilhelm Wachtmeister in Washington - were stopped by Cabinet Secretary Pierre Schori of the Foreign Ministry.

Government members serving at the time have denied any direct government intervention in the murder investigation.

However, the evidence that Schori made the Chief of the Security Police, Sune Sandström, suppress Krusell's letter to the ministry lies in the files of the Palme investigation group (PU), revealed by the Commission that reviewed the investigation (Granskningskommissionen, GK).

- This was too sensitive. We were run over, Ingemar Krusell told Leopold Report. - I was met by mocking laughter when I asked Sandström about my letter.

From that moment, the CIA was entirely excluded from the Palme investigation.

Ingemar Krusell was head of the international investigation unit within PU. The special Section 2 dealt with tips received about international leads.

Tips about a CIA involvement in the assassination of Olof Palme had been received in large numbers all the time since the day after the attack at Sveavägen on February 28, 1986.

- There were tips that were rather too imaginative, but also tips with substance, Krusell said. Perhaps the most impressive actually came from the FBI.

The Chilean terrorist and CIA agent Michael Townley had been mentioned early in the murder investigation. In a hearing with the FBI, he had admitted that he had been instructed to assassinate Palme already in 1976.

- I sent two men to Washington to get information, Krusell said. - They were tipped by [sources] a bit on the side that they ought to obtain information about the CIA's activities. At that time, this wasn't received favourably, but the issue was raised later.

Criticism from the Foreign Ministry

The letter was written after the Foreign Ministry's Sverker Åström, Nils G. Rosenberg, and Jan Eliasson had criticized PU sharply for its failure to make sufficiently comprehensive analysis about the international angles in the murder investigation.

The Foreign Ministry had even made their own criminal investigations, and was highly annoyed that the police investigators had not followed up. As expressed by Eliasson: "You got an eerie feeling that you threw the material into a black hole."

In January, 1988, Jan Eliasson, who in April the same year was appointed UN ambassador in New York, met with Palme prosecutors Solveig Riberdahl and Axel Morath. He was disappointed that they had no overview of the international material.

He encouraged the investigation leaders to look through the Foreign Ministry's files.
Now, the CIA, Chile, South Africa, and much else with possible links to the murder of Palme surfaced.

PU Responds

Ingemar Krusell then discussed the matter of obtaining information about the CIA's activities with Investigation Leader Jörgen Almblad and PU Chief Hans Ölvebro. They concluded that a basic analysis was required.

- We could not go through Interpol, since it is not allowed to get involved in investigations of a political nature, Ingemar Krusell told Leopold Report. - Hence, the only way was to turn to our embassy in Washington, where the staff probably was well informed.

The Iran/Contra affair had then been covered by media worldwide for around a year. The issue was about the CIA's arms trafficking in the Iran-Iraq war, for which Olof Palme was the peace broker before he was murdered in 1986. The next year, Bob Woodward, who had exposed the Watergate affair, published the book "Veil - the Secret Wars of the CIA 1981-1987", which caused huge attention. Woodward described the CIA as a state within the state that carried out foreign policy, using secret military operations as well as operations involving lies, deception, bribery and murder.

It was this CIA that the investigators of the assassination of the Swedish prime minister and the UN peace mediator wanted to know more about.

Tough, but legitimate question

Ingemar Krusell: - I made contact with our liaison at the Foreign Ministry, Chancellor Nils G. Rosenberg, and we agreed that I should write down the questions to which we wanted answers, so he could forward them to Washington.

Then, at May 30, 1988, Krusell sent the letter to the Foreign Ministry.
In the introduction, it i. a. stated:

"In the Palme murder investigation material there are in section H 425 a number of items that suggest that the CIA in one manner or other instigated the murder."

- We wanted answers about the CIA's status now and at the time of the murder, Krusell said. -We also wanted to know what the US perception of Sweden and Swedish politics was at the time of the murder of Palme.
Today, Ingemar Krusell thinks that the sixth question probably was tough, but justified:

Did the US or its intelligence service CIA - from an objective assessment - in the beginning of 1986 have any reason to consider the person and politician Olof Palme a danger to their own interests, [indicating that] a removal of him was imminent?

Here can you read the entire letter

Foreign Ministry Blocks Investigation of the CIA

The letter was not forwarded. It was delayed for a week, during which it probably was discussed at various government levels.

GK writes in its report:

"The Commission's review of the Foreign Ministry's archives revealed that the letter prompted then Cabinet Secretary Pierre Schori, at 7 June, 1988 (that is, a few days after the so-called Ebbe Carlsson affair broke out), to get in contact with the acting head of the Security Police, Sune Sandström. Schori underlined, according to the Foreign Ministry's record, "the dubious aspects of the request", after which Schori and Sandström agreed that the letter could be disregarded with no further action. Also, no response to this request has been filed in PU's archives."

Ingemar Krusell to the Leopold Report:

- I was first informed by Ölvebro that the letter had been stopped. When I got hold of Sune Sandström, he laughed mockingly, and hinted something about this not being our responsibility.

- This was incredibly sensitive stuff. We got all the help we needed from the Foreign Ministry and the embassies, but a fence was raised whenever the CIA was the subject! The CIA was never again a subject for the Palme investigation.

- You may be of any opinion whatsoever about the CIA's possible involvement in the assassination, but it felt damned awful to be stopped this way by forces in high places in the investigation of a murder of a Prime Minister.

GK criticized PU for the very lack of what it called a basic analysis, but when PU really tried to make such an analysis, it was sabotaged from the top government level.

Within the voluminous Palme material, the GK found three "reasonably interesting motive descriptions, including possibilities that remained unprocessed":

1) The Bofors arms deals.

2) Olof Palme's role in relation to Iran and Iraq as parties to the war.

3) The so-called Palme hatred, not in general, but in conjunction with Swedish political motives.

History has shown that the CIA was heavily involved in at least the first two items. This knowledge, which could have had a decisive influence on the continuing murder investigation, was never made available to the homicide investigators.

Chancellor and later Ambassador Nils G. Rosenberg told the Leopold Report:

- When you mention this, a bell rings somewhere. But more than ten years have passed, and I have no recollection of the incident.

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