Ex-politician charged over sex with minor

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Photo: Geir Otto Johansen/Scanpix
12:18 CET+01:00
The former head of the Progress Party’s youth wing, Trond Birkedal, has been indicted over allegations he secretly filmed naked boys and had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy.

Birkedal, 31, resigned from all posts in the right-wing populist party after his arrest in March for lewd behaviour.

The Stavanger politician, who was seeking to become the local party chair at the time of his arrest, has denied any wrongdoing.

“However, now that the charges are in place, he is pleased that this is now going to be tried in court,” said his lawyer, Arvid Sjødin.

“He has waited a long time for this case so that he can get it over with and move on.”

Birkedal is alleged to have had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old youth party member in Oslo in 2008. He is also suspected of sexually abusing several other boys, and filming boys in the shower at his home.

Hege Salomon, a lawyer representing the now 17-year-old boy at the centre of the case and a 19-year-old boy who claims he was secretly filmed by Birkedal, said the charges came as no surprise.

“I view it as positive that sexual abuse is included in the indictment, and I think it will benefit my client to get to explain himself in court and put this matter behind him,” Salomon told newspaper VG.

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The case rocked the Progress Party when it emerged that top officials, including party leader Siv Jensen, had known since 2009 of suspicions that Birkedal was in a sexual relationship with an underage member of the party’s youth wing.

No date has yet been set for the trial, which is expected to take place in the first six months of next year.

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