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September 20, 2017

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Swedish crime author probed unsolved murder: report

STOCKHOLM -- Stieg Larsson, author of the bestselling crime trilogy "Millennium," also researched the unsolved murder of Olof Palme, a report said Tuesday, three days before the 28th anniversary of the former Swedish prime minister's death.

Svenska Dagbladet said the writer and journalist, who himself died in 2004 of a heart attack, had followed up a lead on former Swedish intelligence agent Bertil Wedin, who was suspected of working with South Africa's secret service.

Palme, who was gunned down in a Stockholm street while walking with his wife, was very critical of South Africa's Apartheid policies and had come under fire from conservatives in Sweden and overseas for his anti-colonialist views.

"Palme's death had become a priority on Stieg's agenda," the paper quoted the writer's longtime partner Eva Gabrielsson as saying.

She said Stieg also investigated far-right groups he suspected could have had a hand in the social democrat prime minister's assassination.

Wedin's name had already cropped up in the official investigation in the 1990s.

Stieg, who was 50 when he died, wrote in one of his documents on the Palme case that one "source described him (Wedin) as a contact of the murderer, another as one of the best professional killers in Europe."

But Sweden's Deputy Prosecutor-General Kerstin Skarp, who is in charge of the Palme murder mystery, told Svenska Dagbladet that Wedin "is not someone being actively probed right now."

Palme was prime minister between 1969 and 1976, and again from 1982 to his death in 1986. He was 59 when he was shot.

Stieg's "Millennium" trilogy, which will soon be followed by a fourth installment, has sold 75 million copies so far and been translated into more than 30 languages.

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