Today, PST has charged Laila Anita Bertheussen, the live-in partner of the Norwegian Minister of Justice and Public Security, with violation of section 225 letter b of the Penal Code - for having done something to raise suspicion that criminal act has been committed, when it has not.
The charges concern the fire that started on the night between Saturday and Sunday 10 March in the family car, which was parked outside the family´s residence in Oslo.
We suspect the charged person to have started the fire, thus giving the impression that the fire was started by one or more unknown perpetrators.
This incident is seen in connection with previous threats against the Minister of Justice and his live-in partner, where the charged person may have caused the police to investigate this incident, as an escalation of the previous threats. PST will continue to investigate these former incidents as violations of section 115 and 263 of the Penal Code. Bertheussen is not charged with these incidents.
The investigation is in a preliminary phase, and Laila Bertheussen is currently being questioned by PST. The case will be investigated widely and with the aim of clarifying guilt as well as innocence. The offence can, under the circumstances, be punishable under several other penal provisions. It is too early to say whether there is reason to expand the charges.
Today, Oslo District Court issued a warrant to search the charged person´s residence. The court thus finds that there are reasonable grounds to suspect Berhetussen of the offence with which she is charged. At present, PST does not find it necessary to submit an application for remanding the charged person in custody.
Section 225 - Accusation of a fictitious criminal act
A penalty of a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 1 year shall be applied to any person who
a) reports a criminal act which has not been committed to the courts, the prosecuting authority or another public authority, or
b) raises suspicion that a criminal act has been committed, when it has not.
Section 115 - Attack on the activities of the highest state bodies
A penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years shall be applied to any person who by force, threats or other illegal means puts the King, the Regent, the Government, the Parliament, the Supreme Court or the Court of Impeachment, or a member of these institutions, at risk of being hindered or affected in their activities.
Section 263 - Threats
Any person who by words or conduct threatens to engage in criminal conduct under such circumstances that the threat is likely to cause seriouse fear shall be subject to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.