Swedish academy head quits Nobel body

EPA

The head of the Swedish Academy – the prestigious body that awards the Nobel Prize for Literature – has resigned following a sexual abuse scandal.

The organization has been criticized for its handling of a probe into the alleged sexual misconduct of a married man one of its members.

“It has already affected the Nobel Prize strongly, and that is quite a big problem,” said Sara Danius, as he resigned.

The defendant denies all the allegations.

“It was the Academy that I should leave my role as Permanent Secretary,” Ms Danius told reporters on Thursday. “I took this decision with immediate effect.”

Last November, inspired by #MeToo campaign, 18 women’s allegations of sexual violence and harassment against Jean-Claude Arnault, the husband of a member of the Academy of Katarina Frostenson.

After the Academy has voted against the removal of Ms Frostenson, last week, three of its members Klas Ostergren, Kjell Espmark, and Peter Englund got up from the 18-person committee of protest, Swedish media reported.

While they cannot technically resign, and you can stop participating in the activities of the Academy.
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The Nobel body had cut all ties and funding for Mr Arnault, who runs a cultural club in Stockholm, shortly after the allegations came to light.

The Swedish Academy said at the time that it was potentially broken the rules governing conflicts of interest and has appointed a lawyer to investigate members of the committee links with Mr Arnault.

His lawyer told Reuters that he rejected all the claims against him.

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“Jean-Claude Arnault rejects the accusations of criminal activity, and refuses the other statements that were made against him,” Bjorn Hurtig, said in an e-mail.

None of the allegations of sexual misconduct had been reported to the police when the scandal broke last year, but a state prosecutor has opened a preliminary investigation into the accident.

Last month, he said that some parts of the probe had been shelved because of lack of evidence and because the prescription was passed to some of the allegations.

However, the investigations relating to some of the episodes continue, the public ministry has confirmed.