Monday, August 24, 2009

Swedish newspaper admits no proof; Govt refuses to condemn libellous report

From The Australian, August 24, 2009, by Agence France-Presse:

A SWEDISH newspaper admitted overnight it did not have proof for an earlier story alleging Israeli soldiers had trafficked the organs of Palestinians...

...Aftonbladet chief editor Jan Helin wrote that the first article on the case published last Monday "lacked'' proof of any organ theft. "...[I] gave the green light to the publication of an article because it asks a number of pertinent questions.''

The tabloid followed up its original story ...with an interview with the family of an alleged victim....They asked his 32-year-old brother Bilal if they had any proof that his organs had been stolen. "No, I don't have any,'' he said. "But ...We have heard many stories like this one.''

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt ...was also interviewed by Aftonbladet. ...Asked if the newspaper should apologise for the article, Bildt said: "Aftonbladet is responsible for the content it publishes, not the Government.'' ...

...Israel yesterday pressed Stockholm to condemn the original report.

"We are not asking the Swedish Government for an apology, we are asking for their condemnation,'' a senior official quoted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as telling ministers during the weekly Cabinet meeting.

Also from Ynet News, 23/8/09:

... the Swedish Foreign Ministry [said] that Swedish Ambassador to Israel Elisabet Borsiin Bonnier's condemnation of the report does not represent the Swedish government's stance...
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