Politician’s son held for plot to kill prime minister

The step-son of a well-known Labour Party politician has been arrested and charged with threatening to kill both his step-father and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

Police armed with machine guns stormed the building where the man was located on Friday afternoon, newspaper Dagbladet reports.

"I can confirm that the police intelligence service, PST, has arrested somebody. The person in question faces serious charges,” PST spokesman Trond Hugubakken told the newspaper.

Oslo district court on Monday ordered for the man to be held in custody until July 2nd.

The suspect’s lawyer confirmed the arrest.

”Our client has been charged with having made death threats against his stepfather, a well-known Norwegian politician – and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg,” said lawyer Oscar Oscar Ihlebæk.

Amid a turbulent period in his life, the suspect fled Norway for China, where has lived for the last year, Dagbladet reports.

”I’ve been in contact with the man since January,” said Ihlebæk. ”He came back to Norway last Friday. We had a three-hour long meeting at my office. A few hours later he was arrested by the police.”

While the man was already known to the police, it was not until last autumn that the intelligence service began monitoring him more closely.

Along with the murder threats, prosecutor Anne Karoline Bakken Staff has also charged the suspect with a number of other criminal offences in a 12-page indictment.

The man is believed to have issued the threats by means of correspondence from abroad. Norwegian police put out an international warrant for his arrest last autumn.

According to  Ihlebæk, the death threats were politically motivated.

”It has to do with interpersonal factors as well as having a political background,” the lawyer told Dagbladet.

The suspect’s step-father and the Prime Minister declined to comment on the man's arrest.

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Russia on agenda at Nordic Nato discussions

Norwegian Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg is in Stockholm to meet Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and defence officials from across the Nordics, with Russian aggression in the region set to be a key talking point.

Russia on agenda at Nordic Nato discussions
Former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg at the Nato Parliamentary Assembly in Stavanger in October. Photo: Carina Johansen/NTB scanpix

Former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg is visiting Sweden for the first time since becoming Nato’s new Secretary General last year, taking over from fellow Scandinavian, Denmark’s Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

The 56-year-old diplomat who served as Norway's Prime Minister from 2005 to 2013 with the Labour Party has promised to visit all Nato member states during his term, as well as non-members such as Sweden which have close ties to the intergovernmental military alliance.

His trip coincides with a regular two-day meeting of the Nordic defence cooperation group, Nordefco, attended by representatives from Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland and Denmark as well as partners from the Baltic states. Polish and UK officials have also been invited to the talks.

Sweden will hand over the rotating presidency of Nordefco to Denmark, following the discussions.

Russia’s presence in the the Nordics is expected to be a key focus of their debates, following continued jitters surrounding recent intrusions from the eastern country.

In October 2014, a foreign submarine – suspected to be from Russia, although this was never confirmed – was spotted in Swedish waters just outside Stockholm. A number of Russian planes have also been spotted in or close to Swedish and Danish airspace over the past year. Both Swedish and Danish Intelligence services have reported that Russia is one of the biggest threats in the region.

The visit from the new Nato chief also comes as public support for Sweden joining the organization is growing, according to recent polls. 

In September, 41 percent of Swedes said they thought their country should join Nato while 39 percent remained against it. A similar survey in May stated that just 31 percent of respondents were in favour of Nato membership.

Sweden's ruling centre-left coalition – made up of the Social Democrats and the Green Party – is historically against Nato membership. However, there have been indications in the past year that the Scandinavian nation is moving closer to joining the defence alliance.

In April, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland announced far-reaching plans to extend their military cooperation. Two months ago, Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet suggested that Sweden could get involved with a UK-led Nato-linked force that could be deployed in the event of war in the Baltics, although this was later denied by Sweden’s Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist.