Minister ‘scared’ after cake attack

Solveig Horne, Norway’s government minister in charge of family and equality issues, admitted in an Oslo court on Thursday that she got scared when she suddenly was hit by a cake filled with shaving foam, thrown at her by a bystander at last month’s Pride Parade. The woman charged with attacking the minister, a British citizen, refused to answer any questions or testify when her trial got underway.

Government minister Solveig Horne was among those leading the Pride Parade , which began here in Oslo's Grønland district. PHOTO: Barne- og likestillingsdepartementet

Norwegian government minister Solveig Horne was among those leading this year’s Pride Parade in Oslo, in a show of support for gender tolerance and equal rights. She ended up getting a cake thrown at her. PHOTO: Barne- og likestillingsdepartementet

Horne herself testified via pre-taped video because she is currently out traveling.

“I thought about what could have happened if it wasn’t a cake, but a weapon or something like that,” the minister from the conservative Progress Party testified. “I also thought about security, how someone could come so close, so quickly.”

Horne, who had been among those leading the annual Pride Parade, admitted in her video testimony that her fear from that day has lingered. “This can look like just an innocent cake, but it could have been something else,” Horne testified. “From one second to the next I suddenly had a cake on my head.” She claimed the incident would not halt her participation in public events, but that she will more closely evaluate security arrangements.

There were several police officers close by and many witnessed the 22-year-old British defendant throwing the cake at the government minister. They will also be testifying at the trial, and prosecutors’ strongest evidence is a video of the episode itself. They are not willing to minimize the attack as a harmless gesture of political opposition: “What’s serious in this case is that the cake-throwing creates danger that can hinder a government minister’s work,” Prosecutor Marit Bakkevig told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

The British woman charged in the attack was quickly arrested, has denied guilt on all points in the case against her and has refused to comment since. She was ordered held in custody for at least four weeks while the case against her was brought quickly to court since she’s a foreign citizen. She was provided on Thursday with an interpreter who could translate the Norwegian court proceedings into English for her, but she still refused to testify or answer questions.

The woman faces a jail term of up to 10 years but both the prosecution and her defense attorney have agreed that any actual sentence would likely be on the lower end of the scale.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund