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DRUGS

Bolivia ‘fugitive’ safe in Norway

A Norwegian girl on the run from Bolivian justice for smuggling 22.4 kilograms of cocaine is back in Norway and reunited with her family.

Stina Brendemo-Hagen has been on the run from 10 years of jail time in the South American country since posting 350,000 kroner ($63,000) bail and fleeing Bolivia three months ago, newspaper VG reports.

On Monday afternoon, Hagen stepped off a ferry in Oslo Harbour. The 21-year-old had crossed the Andes Mountains and the Amazon Jungle by boat, moped and plane in her flight from Cochabamba, Bolivia to Brasilia, Brazil. In mid-August 2011, Brendemo-Hagen showed up at the Norwegian Embassy in Brazil with her infant son, she told newspaper VG, the only media outlet she’s given a statement to.

The embassy refused her a new passport but offered one to her son along with passage to Norway. Instead, the two disappeared until her lawyer notified Norwegian police that she was back in Norway.

Brendemo-Hagen, meanwhile, could first be called on to testify at the trial of five others whose flight to Norway produced a court case now being tried in Oslo. Her lawyer said Norwegian authorities have found nothing illegal in her flight.

In August, Norwegian men’s publication Alfa sent a journalist to meet Brendemo-Hagen in Brazil, where they learned two former mercenaries had helped her to freedom.

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DRUGS

Norway politician charged for drugs and child abuse images

A former politician from Norway’s anti-immigration Progress Party has been charged with possession of illegal drugs and images of child abuse.

Norway politician charged for drugs and child abuse images
Police found 19 grams of MDMA. Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB scanpix
The man, who is in his 40s, previously held positions in the party at both the national and local level, but stepped down after he was arrested in 2016. 
 
The politician’s defence lawyer Gunhild Lærum told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that she did not yet have a clear response from her client to the charge over the child abuse images. 
 
“We have not yet been able to look through this together,” she said. “He is slightly unsure if this is something he has downloaded consciously and willingly.” 
 
She said the identities of the children in the pictures were “completely unknown”. 
 
The man has been held in pre-trial detention for nearly two years, as police carried out a long-drawn out investigation after finding large quantities of drugs in his house in May 2016. 
 
“We are both pleased at least that something has finally happened in the case,“ Lærum said. 
 
When the police searched the man’s house in May 2016, they found 90 grams of amphetamine, 16 grams of cocaine, 19 grams of MDMA, 274 ml of GHB, 22 tablets containing clonazepam, four tablets containing diazepam, five tablets containing MDMA and two tablets containing mCPP. 
 
The man has already pleaded guilty to the drugs charges. 
 
“He has acknowledged that he had a problem and he is glad that it has been discovered and that he has managed to get over it. He has been helped for a long, long period now.” 
 
The case is scheduled to go to trial on September 4.