Request for the release of documents, FI’s decision and the rulings of the Administrative Court of Appeal

2019-02-07 | News Money laundering Bank

FI would like to clarify which decisions FI has made, which decisions were appealed and which rulings the courts announced with regard to a number of investigations into money laundering at Swedish banks.

FI's decision regarding the release of documents

On 16 November 2018, FI decided not to release some of the information in the closing letters of a number of money laundering investigations. These letters had been requested by a reporter at the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD). The information that FI decided not to release was information that, in FI's opinion, was related to the companies' business or operational relationships and could be assumed to damage the companies if the information was released. Other information in the letters was released.

On 20 November 2018, FI decided not to release some of the information in the notification letters of a number of money laundering investigations. FI referred in part to the same grounds as for the decision on 16 November, but also to the presence of information on the economic or personal circumstances of persons who had dealings or other connections with the companies in question. Other information in the letters was released.

On 18 December, FI decided not to release a draft of the assessments made in the money laundering investigations. As grounds for this decision, FI stated that the draft was not a public document and that the right to have access to public documents only applies to documents that are public in the meaning of the Freedom of the Press Ordinance.

Appeal to the Administrative Court of Appeal

The reporter from SvD appealed all of FI's decisions to the Administrative Court of Appeal.

The Administrative Court of Appeal ruled in favour of SvD regarding some of the information in the decisions made on 16 November and 20 November. The court ruled in these cases that the secrecy assessment FI had conducted was not as thorough and detailed as required by law. As a result of the ruling, FI conducted new secrecy assessments and made new decisions to release the requested documents with less of the information blacked-out. SvD also appealed these decisions to the Administrative Court of Appeal. The Administrative Court of Appeal rejected SvD's appeals on 20 February 2019. The ruling can be read below (in Swedish only).

With regard to FI's decision on 18 December, the Administrative Court of Appeal rejected the appeal from SvD. The Administrative Court of Appeal upheld FI's assessment that the current drafts were not public documents and therefore rejected the appeal.

Appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court

SvD's reporter has appealed the ruling of the Administrative Court of Appeal with regard to the drafts of the money laundering investigations that FI did not release, i.e. FI's decision from 18 December, to the Supreme Administrative Court. Leave to appeal is required for appeals to the Supreme Administrative Court.

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