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Ex minister in Norway government jailed for sex abuse of asylum seekers

A former Norwegian government minister has been sentenced to five years in jail for sexually abusing three asylum seekers over several years, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Ex minister in Norway government jailed for sex abuse of asylum seekers
Former minister Svein Ludvigsen. Photo: AFP

Svein Ludvigsen, 72, a former fisheries minister, was convicted of abusing his position as county governor and exploiting the vulnerable situations of three young men, one of whom has a mild mental disability.

The sentence was handed down on Wednesday but made public a day later.

The abuse of the men, now aged between 25 and 34, occurred between 2011 and 2017, according to court documents seen by AFP. 

Victims told the court that Ludvigsen, who is now retired, had offered them housing and jobs in exchange for sexual favours.

Two of the three men had also been concerned that their residency permits could have been withdrawn if they didn't comply.

Ludvigsen has always denied doing anything illegal.

During his trial, he admitted to having consensual sex with one of the victims on three occasions in Oslo.

Before becoming county governor, the former conservative politician held several senior national positions. 

He was first arrested early last year and charged in November. 

Ludvigsen's lawyer, Kai Vaag, told Norwegian media on Thursday that his client intended to appeal.

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CRIME

Norwegian police to remain armed with advice to postpone Pride events dropped 

Norwegian police will continue to be armed following a mass shooting in Oslo, but the advice for Pride events nationwide to be postponed has been scrapped, the Police Directorate announced Wednesday. 

Norwegian police to remain armed with advice to postpone Pride events dropped 

Police in Norway will continue to be armed for the foreseeable future, the Norwegian Police Directorate announced yesterday. 

It was announced that police in Norway be armed following a mass shooting in Oslo, which left two dead and 21 injured last week

Yesterday, Norway’s domestic intelligence and counter-terrorism service, PST, lowered the terrorist threat level from extraordinary to high- the second-highest level. 

“The threat level in Norway has changed from extraordinary, to high, according to PST. The danger of follow-up actions or inspired attacks means that the police will continue to be temporarily armed,” the Police Directorate wrote on its website

The police said that PST had widened the threat picture from LGBT groups to other broader targets. 

“PST maintains that LGBTQI + is still included in the target picture, but also people and events that are perceived to offend Islam, religious gatherings and uniformed personnel from the police and defence,” the police said on its website. 

Police also dropped the advice that Pride and LGBT events across the country be postponed. The recommendation was implemented due to a fear of copycat attacks from PST. 

Decisions on whether it was safe for events to go ahead would be made by local authorities going forward. 

“A national recommendation to postpone Pride events expires. The police districts will themselves make risk assessments related to individual events and handling of large crowds based on the overall threat picture and local conditions,” police director Benedicte Bjørnland said. 

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