Welcome to a chapter of the e-book Disaster Investigation.
Question in the Swedish Parliament by Helena Bargholtz (fp) to minister Mona Sahlin about a new Estonia investigation
on 3 September1999
The theories what caused the Estonia disaster are many. There are a lot of rumours; from the Russian mafia to arms smuggling, submarines and extortion. The investigation Commission is regularly accused of not having presented the whole truth.
According to the German Meyer shipyard the Estonia was victim of an attack by explosives. Sabotage, in combination with bad maintenance, sank the ship, the shipyard suggests.152
Several parties are requesting a new investigation to finally clarify all outstanding questions. In January the international and the Nordic transport workers federations demanded a new Estonia investigation. Last spring the press secretary of the minister assured, according to the press, that the government would make a decision before summer. It was not the case.
My question to the minister is thus:
When will the government make a decision in the question about a new investigation why the Estonia sank?
Reply by Mona Sahlin
on 15 September 1999
Helena Bargholtz has asked when will the government make a decision in the question about a new investigation why the Estonia sank.
The government will reply to the question in the budget resolution which will be submitted to parliament on 20 September.
PRESS RELEASE 16 September 1999 by the AgnEf (Work Group to investigate the Estonia Sinking)
Re the Estonia disaster
According unconfirmed statements the Government will in the budget resolution on 20 September give a negative reply to the requests for a new accident investigation by survivors, ITF/NTF, Anders Björkman, and others.
The newly created association AgnEf is worried that the responsible minister Mona Sahlin has no support in the Government for the recent positive promises given to relatives and survivors at the meeting on 20 April this year, where she promised both economic and moral support for the new association and its objective to arrange a seminary where all outstanding questions about the real causes of the accident shall be reviewed.
Her trustworthiness will be strongly questioned if the statement will be proven correct. In such case is shown that responsible politicians and authorities have not listened to the recommendations of, i.a. Peter Örn and the Group of Analysis have given in their Part and Final reports of their work.
The AgnEf has today sent to Ms Mona Sahlin the below question via e-mail. The AgnEf has also earlier this week, with reference to the Independent Fact Group (Stenberg/Ridderstolpe) report about falsifications of PSC reports hiding un-seaworthiness, appealed to the Chief prosecutor and in a request to the police asked whether a criminal act has been committed.
For the AgnEf (Arbetsgruppen för utredning av M/S Estonias förlisning)
Anders Ericson, Chairperson
From: Anders Ericson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Näringsdepartementet <email@example.com>
Anna Bohman, ND <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 16 September 1999 18:39
Subject: Question to Mona Sahlin, minister responsible for the Estonia
To Mona Sahlin, minister responsible for the Estonia
Re. Estonia-discussions/decision in connection with the autumn budget
We (AgnEf) have information that questions have been put in the Parliament re. the Estonia and that some type of statement and answers to the questions about the possibility of a new investigation will be given as part of the government budget presentation.
AgnEf has in a letter applied for economic support for a planned seminary the objective of which, with your pronounced support, is to clearly find out why the disaster took place and to be able to write off other theories.
If a decision will be made that a new investigation shall be made, this is an honest decision to the effect that relatives, survivors and other interested parties together with responsible authorities will be given replies to outstanding questions about the Estonia disaster. It will also show the rest of the world that Sweden has power and ability to handle the difficult questions and that you now actually have listened to and respected the affected persons.
A decision to the contrary will be received with great surprise and will demonstrate that politicians and authorities have not learnt anything and that they are not properly informed and that they have not read the Part and Final reports of Peter Örn where, i.a. politicians and authorities are severely criticised. An important recommendation was, i.a. that consideration should be given to the rights of relatives and survivors to be offered participation in essential decisions affecting them.
We in the AgnEf express our concern that the work with the seminary which is planned will be made more difficult by a negative decision and assume that your decision and promise at the meeting on 20 April will be duly respected by other parties in the government and in the Parliament.
With kind regards
Chair person AgnEf (Arbetsgruppen för utredning av M/S Estonias förlisning)
Swedish daily Aftonbladet 17 September 1999
No new Estonia investigation
STOCKHOLM. There will be no new investigation of the Estonia disaster. The government says no.
On Monday is expected the official decision, but already now the various organisations of relatives have been informed, according to Radio Sweden.
Organisations of relatives and the international and the Nordic transport workers federations have requested that the Estonia disaster shall be investigated again. But the Swedish Board of Accident Investigation and the National Maritime Administration think that no new investigation is required.
The decision by the government on 20 September 1999 - resolution 1999/2000:1
... There have been several demands and various reasons for a new investigation. The Swedish Board of Accident Investigation and the National Maritime Administration have been given opportunity to comment on the demands and the reasons.
Another aspect to consider in this respect is that a new investigation of the wreck means that the agreement of grave yard peace must be renegotiated. When deciding in February this year, that no efforts to salvage the dead bodies shall be made, the government judged that renegotiating the agreement was difficult. This judgement is still valid.
All together the government finds today no reasons to work for a new accident investigation. It does not prevent that the question can be tested again, if the government in the future would find reasons for a new investigation.