Thomas Alstrand from the public prosecutor’s office in Gothenburg was quoted by Dagens Nyheter on 13 February 2019 that a criminal investigation has been opened into threats and acts of violence against witnesses in the Lundin Petroleum war crimes investigation. They have allegedly been pressured not to testify in court. Several witnesses have been granted asylum in safe countries through UNHCR supported emergency protection procedures. The company has confirmed that its CEO and Chairman have been officially informed by the prosecutor, noting that it takes the accusations very seriously and believes that they are completely unfounded.
The fact that the two Directors of Lundin Petroleum are now also suspected of witness tampering undermines the company’s assertions of good faith cooperation with the war crimes investigation, which had already become dubious after the police raided the company’s offices twice. Also, witness tampering is invariably meant to prevent the truth from being exposed in court, suggesting that the company may be less certain of its innocence than it is publicly communicating.
Lundin Petroleum has been complaining that important parts of the war crimes case files that it received in November 2018 are under secrecy and that this is frustrating its ability to prepare its defense. The second criminal investigation could possibly explain this, as it might oblige the Swedish authorities to protect witnesses against exposure.