World

Stieg Larsson names PM's killer from beyond the grave

Peter Walker

The bestselling novelist left behind 15 boxes of files connecting SA to the killing of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme, but he likely got it wrong.

A plaque marks the site where Swedish prime minister Olof Palme was shot and killed in 1986 in Stockholm. Palme was shot on his way home from a movie theater and the case remains unsolved. (AFP)

As a campaigning left-wing journalist who penned novels starring a campaigning left-wing journalist, Stieg Larsson's career always blurred fact and fiction to some extent.

But now it has emerged that the late bestselling thriller writer was probably the man who tipped off Swedish police about a suspect in the country's most infamous murder.

Larsson, who died aged 50 in 2004, before his Millennium trilogy of novels had even been published, left behind 15 boxes of files connected to the killing of Olof Palme, the Swedish prime minister who was gunned down as he walked home from a cinema with his wife in February 1986.

According to a Swedish newspaper, which has been granted access to the papers by Larsson's former partner, Eva Gabrielsson, he identified a Swedish ex-military officer allegedly connected to South Africa's security services as having organised the murder. Palme was a vehement critic of the apartheid government and there has long been speculation about a South African connection.

Gabrielsson told Svenska Dagbladet that she and Larsson spent much of the year after Palme's murder looking into who might be to blame, focusing on the far-right groups Larsson had tracked for years.

Larsson was interviewed by Swedish police and passed them the name of Bertil Wedin, who moved to Cyprus shortly before Palme's death and still lives there.

It is a compelling story and only slightly undermined by the fact that Larsson probably appears to have been wrong. Wedin himself, now 73, told the newspaper: "I have nothing to lose from the truth being established since, fortunately, I am not the murderer."

Wedin only talked to Swedish detectives once, briefly, on the phone after the murder, but the police say he is not a suspect in the case. – © Guardian News & Media 2014

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