Police raid Centre Party offices / News / The Foreigner

Police raid Centre Party offices. Criminal police say they have ransacked the offices of Norway’s Centre Party (Sp) to find out if it has committed financial fraud. ØKOKRIM (the National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime), says it conducted yesterday evening’s raid after the Financial Supervisory Authority (Finanstilsynet) raised questions regarding irregularities in Sp’s revised annual tax assessment. Earlier this year, both Party leader Liv Signe Navarsete and Terje Riis-Johansen, Petroleum and Energy Minister were involved in probable conflicts of interest regarding donations from two power companies.

centre, party, senterpartiet, liv, signe, navarsete, troms, kraft, eidsiva, energi, donations, terje, riis-johansen, oekokrim, finanstilsynet



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Police raid Centre Party offices

Published on Friday, 17th December, 2010 at 12:22 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Criminal police say they have ransacked the offices of Norway’s Centre Party (Sp) to find out if it has committed financial fraud.

Liv Signe Navarsete
Liv Signe Navarsete
Photo: Lars Gjemble (Sp)/Flickr


ØKOKRIM (the National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime), says it conducted yesterday evening’s raid after the Financial Supervisory Authority (Finanstilsynet) raised questions regarding irregularities in Sp’s revised annual tax assessment.

Earlier this year, both Party leader Liv Signe Navarsete and Terje Riis-Johansen, Petroleum and Energy Minister were involved in probable conflicts of interest regarding donations from two power companies.

Both deny the Party committed any illegality, claiming the 700,000 kroner from Troms Kraft and Eidsiva Energi were contributions towards Sp’s general election campaign last year, allegedly to increase awareness about renewable energy projects, reports Nationen. According to Klassekampen, the money was used as ordinary funds.

Minister Riis-Johansen turned down protests from environmental groups and local reindeer owners, awarding Troms Kraft the concession via Ministry-linked NVE (the Water Resources and Energy Directorate) to build a controversial wind turbine park on Vannøya in Troms County. Eidsiva Energi has also lodged several applications for concessions

“It is clear the Minister had a conflict of interests if Troms Kraft even hinted it would give Sp support at the time the Ministry decided the appeal. I cannot refrain from questioning whether the outcome could have been affected by money from the one party in the case,” Henrik Boehlke, partner at Hjort law firm representing the reindeer owners, told Dagens Næringsliv (DN) at the time.

Mrs Navarsete has pledged full cooperation with financial authorities but yesterday’s raid, conducted whilst Party politicians were gathered for the annual Christmas party, came as a complete surprise. According to Dagens Næringsliv, ØKOKRIM was given access to Party offices, even though it had no search warrant.

Meanwhile, several experts believe Mrs Navarsete should step down from her post as leader for the sake of the Party, but has so far refused to do so, claiming it is Sp that is under investigation, not her.

“It is more sensible for her to go, rather than be carried out,” Petter Gottschalk, expert in financial crime, tells Klassekampen.




Published on Friday, 17th December, 2010 at 12:22 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: centre, party, senterpartiet, liv, signe, navarsete, troms, kraft, eidsiva, energi, donations, terje, riis-johansen, oekokrim, finanstilsynet.





  
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