Thomas Bodström

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Thomas Bodström
Thomas Bodstrom, justitieminister, Sverige.jpg
Minister for Justice
In office
11 October 2000 – 6 October 2006
Prime MinisterGöran Persson
Preceded byLaila Freivalds
Succeeded byBeatrice Ask
Personal details
Thomas Lennart Bodström

(1962-04-09) 9 April 1962 (age 58)
Uppsala, Sweden
Political partySocial Democratic Party
Alma materStockholm University
Association football career
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Playing position(s) Defender[1]
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982–1985 Spånga IS
1986 Enköpings SK FK
1987–1989 AIK 48[2] (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Thomas Lennart Bodström (born 9 April 1962) is a Swedish former politician of the Swedish Social Democratic Party.

Thomas Bodström was the Swedish Minister for Justice in the two last succeeding governments of the Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson, from 2000 to 2006. From October 2006 until October 2010, he was the chairman of the Riksdag committee for judicial issues. When the new parliament, that was elected in 2010, was inaugurated, Bodström lost his position as a committee chairman. Bodström shortly afterwards requested half-time leave of absence from his seat in the parliament, combined with half-time parental leave, in order to relocate to the USA together with his family. His request for leave of absence was denied by the Social Democratic group leader in the parliament, and Bodström has thus left his seat in the Parliament. His part-time parental leave was already granted from the Swedish Social Insurance Administration.[3] Thomas Bodström is also active as the chairman of the children's rights organization ECPAT Sweden.

Thomas Bodström is the son of Lennart Bodström, who was Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1982 to 1985 in the Olof Palme government. In his youth, however, Thomas Bodström was not involved in party politics. Instead, his first brush with media attention came as a football player in AIK, a team in the Premier Division of the Swedish Football league, 1987–1989. In 1990, he graduated from Stockholm University with a Bachelor of Laws degree. After that, he worked as a lawyer for ten years. During his career, he took interest in international affairs, and in 1999, he joined the board of the Swedish branch of the international organisation Lawyers Without Borders.

However, when Prime Minister Göran Persson announced his new cabinet appointment on 11 October 2000, Bodström was a completely unknown face to most of the political journalists attending the press conference. At the time, he was not even a member of the Social Democratic Party. Although Bodström was unaccustomed to national politics at the time, he has managed to keep his job, despite calls for his resignation, especially loudly voiced after several high-profile prison breaks during the summer of 2004.

After being appointed as Minister for Justice, he was elected to the Swedish Parliament, the Riksdag, in the 2002 Swedish parliamentary election. This could be regarded as a purely formal exercise, his seat immediately taken over by a substitute.

He has written a book, 700 dagar i Rosenbad (700 days in Rosenbad), about his experiences as a newcomer in the government.


At the time of his appointment, Bodström revealed in an interview that he had used hashish in his youth, and also, that he on several occasions had employed a person in his home without paying the appropriate taxes.[4]

During his term in office, Bodström was heavily criticized by advocates of privacy and liberal think-tanks,[5] as he is said to have worked towards giving the police the possibility of monitoring people who might be involved in minor crimes, as well as other things that could be seen as intrusive to privacy.

On 23 August 2010, during an interview by Swedish Radio, in light of the current drug-testing debate, the reporter asked Bodström if he was willing to participate in a drug test. Bodström at first agreed, but when the nurse explained that he would be tested for amphetamines, hashish, opiates, and benzodiazepines, he changed his mind, and said, "I don't feel like doing it now. I am sweating too much."[6]

The Pirate Party defended his right not to take the test in reference to their views on privacy.[7]

Since mid-2011, Bodström has been an expert commentator on law on the crime solving show Efterlyst on TV3.[8]

Career statistics (association football)[edit]

Club Season Division League Domestic Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
AIK 1987 Allsvenskan 15 1 ? ? 2 0 17 1
1988 15 0 ? ? 15 0
1989 18 2 ? ? 18 2
Career totals 48 3 ? ? 2 0 50 3


  • (2004) 700 dagar i Rosenbad Biography, Albert Bonniers Förlag, ISBN 91-85015-15-6.
  • (2008) Rymmaren crime fiction, Norstedts Förlag
  • (2009) Idealisten crime fiction, Norstedts Förlag
  • (2010) Lobbyisten crime fiction, Norstedts Förlag
  • (2013) Populisten
  • (2014) Det man minns


  1. ^ a b Thomas Bodström at
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Bodström i natt: Jag lämnar riksdagen" [Bodström this night: I will leave the Parliament] (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. 15 October 2010.
  4. ^ "Han har prövat hasch och haft svart hemhjälp" [He has tested hashish and had illegally employed home-help] (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. 14 October 2000.
  5. ^ "Marchen mot Bodströmsamhället" [The March towards a Bodström Society] (in Swedish). Timbro. 28 June 2006. Archived from the original on 28 August 2010.
  6. ^ "Former justice minister refuses a drugs test". The Local. 23 August 2010.
  7. ^ [1] Archived 1 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Stockholm TT Spektra (9 December 2011). "Thomas Bodström till "Efterlyst" | Kultur | SvD" (in Swedish). Retrieved 16 June 2013.
Political offices
Preceded by
Laila Freivalds
Minister for Justice
Succeeded by
Beatrice Ask