HC Deb 23 January 1996 vol 270 c114W
Mr. Alton

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what steps Her Majesty's Government are presently taking to examine the conviction in Sweden of Bengt Bolin under Sweden's extra-territorial law on sex offences against children; [9672]

(2) when Her Majesty's Government expect to be able to make a statement on the implications of the Bengt Bolin case in Sweden for future United Kingdom legislation on child sex offences committed aborad. [9673]

Mr. Maclean

My officials have obtained from the Swedish authorities various documents concerning the Bolin case, including transcripts of the court proceedings. The Swedish chief prosecutor gave a presentation about this case to an Interpol working group in November last year, and Home Office officials who attended the presentation spoke to him about the case. My officials have also recently met a representative from the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs to discuss this matter. In addition, a meeting is being arranged with the Thai prosecutor who was involved in the Bolin case.

The information so far received suggests that there would have been difficulties in securing a conviction in this country on the basis of the evidence presented to the Swedish court. The United Kingdom could, however, unlike Sweden, have extradited a British offender in similar circumstances. We remain of the view that this is the best approach, and have not been persuaded by the experience of the Swedes that extra-territorial jurisdiction would be helpful in dealing with British tourists who commit offences overseas.