Journalist sues Swedish Security Service

Published 2 September 2023
- By Editorial Staff

The former editor-in-chief of the newspaper Samnytt, Egor Putilov, is suing the Swedish Security Service after the agency claimed he had contacts with Russian intelligence. He is seeking SEK 20,000 in damages.

It was in 2019 that Putilov was denied press accreditation for the second time on the grounds that the Parliament considered him a security risk. The parliament referred to the fact that Putilov, according to Säpo, had contacts within the Russian secret service.

Putilov has rejected Säpo’s statements as false and now wants the agency to be held accountable for these claims.

“It is astonishing that a government agency can accuse a journalist of being a spy and then not have to answer for it or prove anything. My lawsuit against Säpo is an expression that I do not accept such a system”, he wrote in the Bonnier newspaper Expressen.

Putilov is demanding SEK 20,000 in damages from Säpo, but the journalist emphasizes that the main purpose of the lawsuit is to get a judicial review against the agency in court.

“In a constitutional state, you should be able to complain about a government decision and get a fair hearing. Unfortunately, Säpo has never conducted a formal preliminary investigation which would lead to a fair hearing. Instead, they made a false accusation that cannot be appealed”, Putilov writes.

Säpo writes in a comment to Expressen that it does not comment on “matters concerning individual persons”.