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7 Feb, 2024 09:17

Sweden halts investigation into Nord Stream blasts – media

The probe has not established any likely suspects, according to prosecutors
Sweden halts investigation into Nord Stream blasts – media

Swedish prosecutors say they will drop their investigation into the explosions that damaged the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines due to having failed to identify any likely suspects, the tabloid Aftonbladet has reported.

Built to deliver Russian natural gas directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea, the pipelines were rendered inoperable by a series of powerful explosions in international waters near the Danish island of Bornholm in September 2022. Germany, Sweden, and Denmark each launched their own national probes into the incident after failing to agree on a joint effort.

Swedish prosecutor Mats Ljungkvist, who led Stockholm's criminal investigation, was cited as saying that there was nothing to indicate that Sweden or its citizens were involved in the Nord Stream sabotage.

“The preliminary investigation has been systematic and thorough,” said the prosecutor, adding that “Among other things, a large number of ship movements have been analyzed in order to understand what has happened.” 

“In addition to that, an extensive crime scene investigation has been carried out and several interrogations have been held in the matter." Ljungkvist said that as a result of these efforts it was concluded that Swedish jurisdiction did not apply in the case.

“The conclusion of the investigation is that Swedish jurisdiction does not apply and that the investigation therefore should be closed,” the Swedish Prosecution Authority was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Several leading German news outlets, including Suddeutsche Zeitung, NDR, WDR, and Zeit, had predicted that Sweden would close its investigation after failing to identify any suspects. The move will benefit German investigators, the news outlets said, because Sweden will be able to share evidence with them once its own case is closed.

“The German preliminary investigation continues and due to the secrecy, that prevails for international legal cooperation, I cannot comment further on the cooperation that has taken place,” Ljungkvist concluded.

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