On Thursday the leader of the Social Democratic Youth Federation, Anna Sjödin, was convicted and fined on four charges related to a scuffle in and outside a Stockholm pub this spring.
The politically most piquant part of the story is that Ms. Sjödin was alleged to have called the bouncer “svartskalle” (“blackhead”; one of the most common racist slurs used against immigrants in Sweden) during the brawl. It is this, rather than the conviction or the fine, which is politically damaging.
In a curious twist to the tale, Ms. Sjödin is a former rugby player, while the bouncer, Mr. Babak Jamei, is a trained doctor.
Ms. Sjödin’s lawyer has already announced that she will appeal the conviction to the High Court.
In another court case involving a senior Social Democrat, the mayor of Malmö, Ilmar Reepalu, was cleared of charges for corruption related to a vacation in South Africa paid by a business contact. This case was resolved before the election. The resigning leader of the Social Democratic Party, former Prime Minister Göran Persson, still has to defend himself in a minor case related to a breach of safety regulations related to works on his farm in Södermanland.
In other news, no further instances of unpaid licence fees or moonlighting nannies among government ministers have been reported today.
Oops, that was wrong: Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren initially failed to declare his incomes to the Riksdag after he left parliament in 1998 but revised the declaration on his own initiative after six months. And there was another guy who “forgot” to pay his TV licence fee.