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Quick: My Final Chat with Borgström
By Sture Bergwall. Published 8 October 2012.
Sture Bergwall is Thomas Quick is Sture Bergwall. His real name is the former; his psychotherapist suggested he make up the latter; but since he's gone off the medications the psychotherapist gave him, he's gone back to being who he really is.
Sture Bergwall was Sweden's most notorious serial killer. Until Hannes Råstam began digging into the uncomfortable truth. Bergwall had been set up by a lacklustre prosecutor with no convictions to his credit and a defence attorney willing to do anything for money.
Together they withheld the real evidence from court after court so Bergwall could be convicted.
Of the total of eight convictions saddled on Bergwall, five have now been overturned, and the remaining three, currently under review, will undoubtedly go the same way. Sweden allows convictions in rape cases with no evidence whatsoever but evidently not here.
The prosecutor behind the scandal, Christer van der Kwast, made a career out of the affair, being promoted from the cold north to the capital (with a hefty pay rise). He's now retired but is working behind the scenes with Borgström to protect his name.
The defence attorney, Claes Borgström, who is perhaps better known today for his involvement in the Assange scandal, is still active. There are many strange things that have happened in the story of Julian Assange since August 2010, but one fact cannot be denied: it's Claes Borgström who's been moving the chess pieces all along.
A Speckled Career
The career of Claes Borgström reads like a textbook study of Swedish cronyism at its worst. Borgström always got the fast lane - a reporter for state television during the trial of prime minister Olof Palme's alleged killer, he used his contacts in Stockholm to rescue PM hopeful Mona Sahlin from the Swiss chocolate scandal, for which Sahlin rewarded him with a position as ombudsman for equality (a job he didn't like - see below) and so forth.
And then came the Quick scandal. Bergwall actually chose Borgström as his defence attorney - after the first ones quit in protest at the way the case was being run - and Borgström took the job - a job that in the end would net him US$500,000 for essentially doing nothing at all.
Then along came Hannes Råstam, Sweden's premier investigative journalist, who dug into the Quick cases. His final report was published this year - posthumously - and it shook Sweden to the fundament.
Suddenly all Claes Borgström's cronies came out of the woodwork - including a supreme court justice who has used his clout to derail public insight into the Quick scandal.
But it was back in 2008, as Hannes Råstam was putting the finishing touches on his two-hour documentary for state television, that Claes Borgström last contacted Sture Bergwall. Aka Thomas Quick. Claes Borgström was worried: Hannes Råstam's reputation preceded him. Claes Borgström was worried Råstam would dig into his invoices (for US$500,000 for doing nothing, regarded as 'fairytale bookkeeping' by many) or into his professional negligence.
Please see the final part of this article as well.
My Final Chat with Borgström
By Sture Bergwall. Published 8 October 2012.
The last time I spoke with Claes Borgström was in October 2008. He rang me a few hours before he was to meet Hannes Råstam. He didn't know at the time that I'd already withdrawn all my testimony.
'Hey it's cool, Råstam isn't dangerous', Borgström told me. 'But do you have any idea what he plans to ask me?' I told him it'd probably be small talk mostly and that I got the same impression - that Råstam appeared to be on 'our side'.
Claes Borgström told me a bit about himself. He'd told me earlier about his divorce and about the boring work as ombudsman for equality. 'I make sure I get to go away to exotic islands and run courses for lawyers with Sten-Åke Larsson - quite simply, I delegate away my job as ombudsman to my deputy.' And he'd often say 'I'm not staying for the entire term'.
'And after the next election', Borgström continued, 'I'm going to be a cabinet minister! As you're aware, I don't have any kind thoughts about Thomas Bodström - actually it's inconceivable that they made him minister for justice - the man hasn't much going on upstairs. So I joined the party. I was supposed to be in Persson's cabinet but that fell through: I'd been a member of the Leftists and I wasn't registered with the Social Democrats at the time. So Margareta Winberg stole my job!'
And I just listened and thought to myself: 'that meet you're having with Råstam - it's not going to be what you expect!'
Oh The Irony!
Sture Bergwall of today - once he escaped from the drugs and the clutches of the 'Quick mafia' - turned out to be quite the thoughtful individual, very active on Twitter and capable of writing small blog post gems such as the one above. The key to the above blog post is what's written between the lines. And it's a lot.
- The meet with Råstam: (See here for a full account in English) Råstam was planning to 'ambush' Borgström and Bergwall knew it. They spoke only minutes before Råstam entered Borgström's office. Borgström was supremely confident, totally unaware of what was about to happen.
The big deal with Bergwall withdrawing his testimony - his confessions to some thirty murders - was that prosecutor Christer van der Kwast never had any other evidence. And the investigations the police had conducted actually showed the impossibility of Bergwall's drug-induced stories. But this evidence was hidden from the courts by prosecutor Christer van der Kwast and defence attorney Claes Borgström.
- 'Hey it's cool': Why should Claes Borgström be worried at all if he'd behaved ethically? As for his fairytale invoices: the final one was for an even one thousand hours' work.
- Exotic islands: Borgström's here talking openly about graft, how Swedish cronyism works. The trips to exotic places are paid by someone else. Borgström still picks up his paycheque for his job as ombudsman, a job he admits he doesn't do.
- Thomas Bodström: Thomas Bodström is today partner in Claes Borgström's legal firm. It's only been days since Sture Bergwall published the above blog post, so there may not have been enough time to see any reaction. But Borgström is spot on about Bodström: a former footballer who got a law degree, he was asked by former PM Göran Persson to join the cabinet. Bodström's father had been a cabinet minister under Olof Palme but Bodström himself was not a registered party member until he accepted the post. And he's not the sharpest tool in the shed.
Bodström is often blamed for helping the CIA render two Egyptians to Mubarak's torture cells. He's tried to pass the buck to the assassinated Anna Lindh. He's defiantly claimed Sweden has no special rendition agreement with the United States, only for this site to find both he and his father have signed such agreements, under Reagan and George W Bush.
- Margareta Winberg: The principal architect of the dystopia that is Sweden today. She froze out all political opposition and stated that she expects a real war between the sexes before it's all over. A big fan of Eva Lundgren who taught that women are being raped in a coordinated attempt to protect the 'patriarchy' and an 'invisible power structure' only she can see.
- Cabinet minister: Yes, the social democrats were expected to win the national elections in 2010. But only days before Swedes went to the polls, the country erupted with yet another state-feminist scandal concerning two social democrats partying with the 'wrong kind of women'. Expressen made all they could out of it and the social democrats plummeted in new voter surveys. Then Anna Ardin took Sofia Wilén to a police station in Stockholm...
- 'Not what you expect': Borgström was indeed caught off guard, as the television documentary and the transcript show. But he tried his best to recover, publishing a plea to the bar association to review his part in the Quick scandal and disbar him if necessary. What Borgström and a few legal experts but no one else knew was that the bar couldn't be empowered to act on such a plea, which is why he dared suggest it in the first place.
Borgström has since gone on to conduct a 'show trial' against Julian Assange in the Swedish media.