Norway justice minister resigns; partner suspected of staged attacks
March 28 2019 07:32 PM
Tor Mikkel Wara
Tor Mikkel Wara

Dpa/Stockholm

Norway's Justice Minister Tor Mikkel Wara resigned Thursday, two weeks after the security service PST said they suspected his partner of setting their car ablaze in a staged attack.

‘The past weeks have been very challenging for my family,’ Wara said, adding that his family needed him more than the government.

Wara has been on a leave of absence since mid-March when the PST said it believed his partner, Laila Anita Bertheussen, set the couple's car ablaze in a staged attack.

The car was parked outside their Oslo home in the March 10 incident. The fire was quickly extinguished.

It was the latest of several instances of vandalism and attacks reported on Wara's home in recent months. In December, a swastika and the word ‘racist’ was daubed on the house and a car parked outside it.

The events fuelled speculation of a possible political motive.

The PST said Thursday, citing forensic finds and other evidence, that it suspected Bertheussen of staging all the attacks.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg said she was ‘very sad’ over the situation as she believed Wara had much more to contribute.

Solberg named Wara of the right-wing populist Progress Party justice minister a year ago. The appointment was unexpected as he had left active politics 25 years ago, and has since worked in public relations.

Solberg said a replacement for Wara would be announced later.



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