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