UPDATED: Knut Storberget has stepped down from his office as Minister of Justice.
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg announced at today’s conference about the Cabinet reshuffle that current Minister of Defence Grete Faremo, who was last Minister of Justice until 15 years ago, will be taking over Mr Storberget’s post. Espen Barth Eide will assume office as Defence Minister.
Opposition politicians say they have noticed Mr Storberget has had less energy recently and underline they do not wish to speculate whether today’s move is due to the attacks of 22 July.
Several of the aggrieved families following Anders Behring Breivik’s Utøya massacre, demanded an apology from Knut Storberget following his account in Parliament yesterday, alleging he showed no humility and possessed no self-criticism. Some parents are still waiting for results of the autopsy on their children.
He has also faced pressures over the recent wave of rapes in Oslo. Moreover, the capital has seen several murders.
Nevertheless, tri-partite Coalition MPs praise him for what he has achieved whilst being Minister of Justice.
“I think he has done some wonderful work for the country. He has been a force both when it comes to making domestic male violence against women and children a general issue, and efforts to make the criminal rehabilitation system better,” Akhtar Chaudhry MP, Socialist Left (SV) member of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Justice, tells The Foreigner.
Calling Mr Storberget’s rehabilitation approach as being “systematic”, Mr Chaudhry continues, saying that, “now is the first time in history that every Norwegian prison has a library. He has also reformed the laws and raised punishments for sexual crimes.”
Jenny Klinge MP, member of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Justice for the Centre Party (Sp) states, “I think it’s sad. Mr Storberget has been an accomplished and efficient minister. He has shown he addresses important matters, for example, the situation on 22 July.”
“He is also there for people when they need him, and I will miss him a fellow human being. Mr Storberget is also one of the ministers in the Coalition that has taken Parliament most earnestly,” she concludes.
Mr Storberget, who will now be part of Norwegian politics just as an MP, has been in his post since 2005. He had an extended period of sick leave in 2009 and also became a father for the third time last year.
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