COPENHAGEN – The Swedish prosecutor’s office announced on Tuesday it had filed rape charges against a French artist in the center of an alleged sex scandal and name-leaking of Nobel Prize winners resulting in the biggest scandal to hit the Nobel award-giving Swedish institution.
According to an official statement, Sweden’s prosecution office filed charges against French artist Jean-Claude Arnault, accused of allegedly raping a woman twice in Stockholm in 2011.
The Swedish prosecutor has questioned the alleged victim, her attacker, and various witnesses and as Prosecutor Christina Voigt stated, “In my opinion, there is robust and sufficient evidence for prosecution.”
Last March the prosecutor’s office completed part of its preliminary investigation opened last November, after 18 anonymous women denounced in Sweden’s leading newspaper a “cultural profile” with close links to the Swedish Academy, later identified as Jean-Claude Arnault.
The accusation pointed out that Arnault, husband of Swedish Academy member and poet Katarina Frostenson, had committed sex-crimes against various women at his literary club and on the Academy’s premises.
When the scandal erupted, the Swedish Academy severed its relations with the artist and ordered an inquest that concluded Arnault had not been privy to any decisions regarding Academy prizes nor subventions, although financial assistance provided to Arnault’s literary club broke the Academy’s impartiality rules as her academy member wife was the club’s co-owner.
The inquest report also disclosed that confidentiality rules protecting the secrecy of Nobel prize winners had been breached on various occasions and that “unacceptable behavior in the form of unwanted intimacy” had taken place within the Academic institution
The “Arnault case” unleashed an internal conflict within the Academy forcing eight academics to resign in the past four months, although only four have confirmed so in writing.
The most controversial decision was, for the first time in seven decades, to postpone the 2017 Nobel prize in Literature meaning that two Literary Nobel prizes will be awarded in 2019 due to the institution’s lack of public confidence.