The former KGB-agent Jan Guillou, a Swedish writer of suspense fiction, says he had contacts with Soviet intelligence in Stockholm because it was fun. In today’s Expressen Oleg Gordievsky (“KGB-chefen om fallet Jan Guillou”, October 26, 2009), a leading Soviet defector of KGB now living in England, is interviewed on the Guillou case. According to the former KGB-chief the contact at the Soviet embassy, J. Gergel, was an expert on using journalists as spies:
Gergel had great successes in Sweden and when back in the Soviet Union he made a career within KGB. In Sweden he collected political information. His superiors regarded him as very diligent, careful and a success. After 1968 KGB had problems recruiting and having an upcoming journalist like Guillou as agent was very important. He cold provide information on Swedish politics, Swedish relations to the Soviets which could be used against for instance Communist China, an adversary of Moscow at the time.
An interesting fact on the Swedish writer is that he has been president of the Association of Journalists with 5, 200 members. It says somethng of the political leanings of Swedish journalists.
In the 1970s Guillou co-authored a book about Iraq. The authors praised Saddam Hussein’s prisons as ‘better than Swedish apartments’. They further predicted that Jews who fled from Iraq to Israel would return. He wrote in Aftonbladet (pro-Palestinian tabloid in Stockholm) just after 9/11 that the death toll in New York:
…was about one-third of those innocent people killed when Israel attacked Lebanon in the early 1980s.
There have for a long time been information in the public arena (as yet without proof) that Guillou had contacts with the intelligence services of Saddam Hussein and Yassir Arafat. It remains to be seen if Swedish archives can reveal anything on those possible contacts