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Sweden drops tax probe into man at centre of Nobel scandal

Sweden drops tax probe into man at centre of Nobel scandal
FILE PHOTO: Frenchman Jean-Claude Arnault arrives to the Svea Hovratt appeal court on the third day of his appeal trial in Stockholm, Sweden, November 14, 2018. Jonas Ekstromer/TT News Agency/via REUTERS /File Photo   -   Copyright  TT NEWS AGENCY(Reuters)
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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden’s Economic Crime Authority (ECA) said on Tuesday it had dropped a tax probe into the man at the centre of a scandal that forced the postponement of the 2018 Nobel Prize for literature.

In April last year, it launched an investigation into whether Jean-Claude Arnault, a photographer married to a member of the Swedish Academy that picks the literature prize winner, had evaded taxes.

“The investigation has been closed into the person connected to the Swedish Academy as even a potential conviction would probably not have led to any increase in the sentence he has already received,” the ECA said in a statement.

Last year, Arnault was convicted of rape and sentenced to 2-1/2 years in prison.

Last week, the Academy said his wife, poet Katarina Frostenson, had leaked the names of previous prize winners to Arnault and that she would quit.

She has denied the allegation.

The accusations against Arnault, who ran a cultural club with Frostenson that received money from the Academy, caused a feud among members and several have since quit.

The Nobel Foundation, which controls the prize money donated by dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel, has warned it could drop the Academy from awarding the prestigious prize.

The turmoil led to no Nobel Prize in literature being awarded in 2018. Two winners will be picked this year.

(Reporting by Simon Johnson; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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