A former Norwegian politician, Svein Ludvigsen, has been charged with sexually abusing three asylum seekers over several years, according to the Norwegian Attorney General.
Mr Ludvigsen, 72, is accused of abusing his position as prefect of the Tromsø region and exploiting the vulnerability of three, much younger, asylum seekers, to take advantage of them sexually. One of the men suffers from a mild mental disability,
The case dates back to 2011, when a man in his 30’s alleges that he was first assaulted by the former politician. That case was eventually dropped, but taken up again after another man reported similar assaults. Another police investigation began and ended this summer, only to be reopened after prosecutors sought additional questioning of the defendant.
The assaults allegedly occurred at Ludvigsen’s home, in his cottage, in hotels in Oslo and in a parked car.
According to two of the accusers, Ludvigsen allegedly sought sexual favours in return for ensuring the men were granted asylum in Norway.
“We believe to be able to prove that sexual intercourse has taken place, Attorney General Tor Børge Nordmo told the Norwegian tabloid Verdens Gang. “An assessment has been made of the evidence contained in the investigation material, including witness statements, proof of evidence, documentary evidence, technical evidence and communication,” he added.
Ludvigsen’s lawyer denied the charges against his client. “He denies all this completely,” defence attorney Ulf E Hansen told reporters on Wednesday. “He is of course disappointed by the indictment. At the same time he thinks it can be good to get this case before the court, so that he can defend himself.
Prior to becoming prefect, the former Conservative leader held important national political positions, including Minister of Fisheries between 2001 and 2005.