The mystery man, who shook the Swedish and Indian government 25 years ago by leaking the documents related to Bofors case to the media, has finally come out in the open. Former Swedish Police chief Sten Lindstrom said in an interview to thehoot.org that he was the whistleblower who leaked documents to journalist Chitra Subramanian-Duella.
On asked why he decided to reveal himself after 25 years, Sten said, "Twenty five years is a good land-mark. We have had some time for reflection. Now it is time to speak again. Corruption levels in the world are increasing. There is new business around corruption with companies selling products that measure corruption instead of questioning why it is there in the first place," he told thehoot.org, adding, "I hope I can contribute to the global struggle against corruption by sharing what I know."
Sten revealed that he knew what he was doing. "The role of the whistle-blower is a part of democracy. When all official channels are clogged, you have to take a decision. We have a culture here that it is okay to blow the whistle. I have met other whistle blowers. I knew what I was doing when I leaked the documents to you. I could not count on my government or Bofors or the government of India to get to the bottom of this. My only option was to leak the documents to someone we could trust."
He claimed in the interview that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was not involved in the bribery.
"Many mentioned Rajiv Gandhi's involvement and that the guns were duds hoping I would react. I am used to these tricks. I told everyone the guns were excellent. The problem was in the procurement process," he said adding, "There was no evidence that he had received any bribe. But he watched the massive cover-up in India and Sweden and did nothing."
"Many Indian institutions were tarred, innocent people were punished while the guilty got away. The evidence against Ottavio Quattrrocchi was conclusive. Through a front company called A.E. Services, bribes paid by Bofors landed in Quattrocchi's account which he subsequently cleaned out because India said there was no evidence linking him to the Bofors deal. Nobody in Sweden or Switzerland was allowed to interrogate him," he said.
The case involved illegal payoffs and had rocked both India and Sweden in the late 1980s 1990s. Several politicians including the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi were accused of receiving kickbacks from Bofors. The scandal has been speculated to have caused Rs.640 Million loss to the state exchequer.