Constantly under investigation, several times pointed out. But never properly interviewed by the Police.
The elegant and nowadays 73 years old Bertil Wedin came to the surface in the Palme inquiry almost immediately after the murder on February 28th interest because of his connections with Security Service of the South African Apartheid regime.
Today SvD could reveal that the world-famous crime writer and journalist Stieg Larsson named Bertil Wedin in the autumn of 1987 as a possible go-between in the murder of Palme.
Stieg Larsson had come across extensive documentation on Bertil Wedin which he compiled and sent to the Police in a memorandum. His partner Eva Gabrielsson says to SvD that all the time up to his death in 2004 Stieg Larsson had suspicions about Bertil Wedin.
Other persons have also pointed at Wedin as a go-between, as the one planting the false trail about Kurdish PKK and for spreading negative propaganda about Palme for a long time after the murder. Since November 1985 he lives in north Cyprus, a nation recognised by nobody and who lacks extradition treaties with everyone.
“Well, I disliked Olof Palme quite a lot, but I did not hate him”, he says.
SvD is meeting with Bertil Wedin close to his home in Kyrenia. We are sitting in the elegant but slightly worn-down Dome Hotel, the same place where Wedin was interviewed by the world press in 1996 when he and the super spy Craig Williamson were alleged to be involved in the murder of Palme. The waiter is wearing a black tie, worn to a shine, and is chatting in a familiar tone with the guests.
A mild breeze is sweeping in from the Mediterranean. Bertil Wedin’s eyes are ice-blue , cold and vigilant.
“I have nothing to lose from the truth coming out since i am luckily enough not the murderer and had nothing to do with it all.”
In spite of the fact that he has appeared in inquiries for 28 years, no formal interview has ever been conducted by Swedish Police. A telephone call is the closest the investigators have been.
“A policeman called in 1996 after I had fappeared in the press in connection with South Africa. He was a bit loud and easy-going and talked about a permit. I said ‘you don’t need a permit, just come.’ But they never came.”
SvD is talking to him for three days going through Stieg Larsson’s memo page by page. In the document it is stated that Bertil Wedin had been a mercenary, had worked for BOSS, the South African Security Service since the 70’s and for was one of the “top pro killers” in Europe.
“All these pieces of information are false…except then one about me living with my wife in Cyprus. OK?”
One of the sources says that Wedin is “one of the nastiest persons” he has met in his many years working against right wing extremism. That he was supposed to have murdered several people, among them the anti-Apartheid activist Ruth First, one of Olof Palme’s friends, who was killed by a bomb.
“I have heard about the letter bomb, of course, but it was completely unknown to me. And I think it is a terrible thing.”
Wedin goes on reading, sniffing at the content and commenting some statements.
I am aware of my reputation; right wing man and Conservative, not liking Palme and more, but I have done nothing of all this.
“They say ‘no smoke without fire’ but there is nothing in this. I am aware of my reputation; right wing man and Conservative, not liking Palme and more, but I have done nothing of all this. Not a single thing. And no one has asked me to do anything either.”
Stieg Larsson was not alone in his suspicions: there were several tips directly after the murder and ten years later South African security agents pointed a finger at Wedin as involved in the murder.
Bertil Wedin left Sweden in 1975 and moved to Great Britain. He worked among other things as a journalist but was also paid by the South African Security Service. He was charged, accused of breaking into the office of an anti-Apartheid movement in London, but was later acquitted.
Three months ahead of the murder of Olof Palme he moved with his family to northern Cyprus .
“I wanted to lead another life. Many people I know in this sphere have sooner or later grown tired of it, wanted to do something else.”
He says that he tried several times to give Swedish authorities a tip on who was behind the murder. He contacted embassies and the Palme inquiry, but nobody wanted to receive his information.
“I had names that I believed were the gun man’s or the name of the Master Mind”, Bertil Wedin says.
However he does not want to disclose those names today.
In the memo from Stieg Larsson it is stated that Bertil Wedin went to South Africa in February 1986, shortly before the murder of Olof Palme.
Were you in South Africa at the time?
“I was not.”
He says he was in Cyprus when he heard the news from the BBC World Service on March 1st.
“Later I thought: will I be a suspect?”
The reason was that he was “a little anti-Palme”.
Today, 28 years on, he is no longer particularly interested in talking to the Police, neither to offer tips, nor to straighten out question marks.
“I would prefer not to. But I would consider it, of course, but it seems so meaningless.