Man charged over mail bomb, threats to Swedish gov't members

August 15, 2018 - 8:38 am

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A 42-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder for sending a letter bomb to a bitcoin company in London and over threatening letters he sent to two dozen lawmakers in Sweden, including government members, Swedish authorities said Wednesday.

Sweden's security service SAPO said the white powder included in the letters, sent in 2017, was determined to be harmless.

The suspect's name is Michael Salonen, a Swedish citizen, according to the charge sheet obtained by The Associated Press. He was arrested in May at Stockholm's international airport upon arrival from Thailand, Sweden's news agency TT said.

SAPO said Wednesday it was involved in the case because it concerned central government members and thereby falls within its scope. A total of 26 persons, including 21 government members and top officials, received the letters. One of those who received the letter was Prime Minister Stefan Lofven.

Prosecutor Eva Wintzell says the man, whom she did not identify, faces attempted murder charges over the letter bomb mailed to the company in Britain.

According to the charge sheet, Salonen mailed a letter bomb in August 2017 to London-based bitcoin company Cryptopay, addressed to employees George Basiladze and Dmitrii Guniashov. According to the charges, either of them could have been killed or maimed.

The letter was sent to Cryptopay in care of an accountancy firm, The Accountance Cloud, and one of its employees, Wesley Rashing, opened it. No explosion occurred.

Salonen had tried to change his password on the Cryptopay website, according to the charges, and had an email exchange with Cryptopay's support unit which eventually told him they could not change his passwords. It was not clear why he wanted to change it.

No trial date has been announced.

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