Swedish Academy sex scandal: Appeals trial opens for jailed Frenchman

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Copenhagen : A court in Stockholm opened an appeals trial on Monday for a Frenchman who was jailed in October for rape in a scandal that rocked the prestigious Swedish Academy that awards the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Jean-Claude Arnault was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of 115,000 Swedish krona ($12,590) after he was found guilty on one of two charges of rape against the same woman back in 2011.

Arnault, 72, has been in preventative prison since the end of September on court orders.

The plaintiff alleged that Arnault had made her perform oral sex and have sex against her will on two occasions.

Although there was no physical proof of the crime, the court found the evidence presented, which included statements made by the complainant and seven witnesses, including a psychologist, was sufficient enough to lead to sentencing.

At the appeals trial, which will go on until Wednesday, Arnault's defence will present new evidence and call on two new witnesses, including his wife Katarina Frostenson, a Swedish poet and former member of the academy, Efe news reported.

In light of the scandal, the Swedish Academy cut ties with Arnault and commissioned an audit that found while he had not influenced decisions on awards and grants, financial support his literary club received from the academy broke impartiality rules, as his wife was a co-owner.

The case sparked an internal conflict within the academy and led to the resignations of eight academics.

The Swedish Academy has embarked on several reforms and postponed this year's Nobel Prize in Literature for the first time in seven decades.

Published : Monday, November 12, 2018 19:00 [IST]
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