Swedish court sentences Belgian, UK nationals for breaking into military base

The accused claimed they were doing “urban exploration”, which consists of entering closed or abandoned environments even though this may not be authorised. The two also claimed they believed there was no military activity at the base and said they did not understand what a protected object consists of. [Shutterstock/Fredric Dahlgren]

The Södertörn District Court sentenced a man from Belgium and the UK who broke into Muskö military base in 2018 for the unauthorised handling of classified information, broadcaster SVT reported on Wednesday.

The two men broke into the Muskö base in the south of Stockholm and filmed and photographed parts of the facility in 2018. They were arrested in December 2018 after a security guard spotted them inside the Swedish Armed Forces’ naval base on Muskö. It turned out that they had been inside on two occasions and had taken over a hundred photos and film clips around the facility.

The two men were later charged for the unauthorised handling of classified information, unauthorised access to protected objects and unauthorised imaging of protected objects.

“These photos and films constitute a threat to national security if they end up in the hands of foreign powers because with this material, it can be said that they have carried out parts of a survey of this facility,” the prosecutor, Mats Ljungqvist, previously told TT.

There is no evidence that suggests the men intended to use the material to gain access to foreign powers.

The accused claimed they were doing “urban exploration”, which consists of entering closed or abandoned environments even though this may not be authorised. The two also claimed they believed there was no military activity at the base and said they did not understand what a protected object consists of.

The prosecutor pointed to footage in which they talk about the base possibly being active and that there are military personnel there.

The Muskö naval military base was inaugurated in 1969 and contains three docks, a hospital, and enough food supplies for 2,000 personnel.

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