PST’s boss calls minister ‘careless’

The head of Norway’s police intelligence unit PST (Politiets sikkerhetstjeneste) said on Wednesday that investigators may not be able to determine whether former government minister Per Sandberg’s mobile phone was compromised when he opted to take it with him on trips to China and Iran. Benedicte Bjørnland said Sandberg was “careless” in connection with his […]

‘Circus Sandberg’ clouded debate

Norway’s first nationally televised political party leader debate of the season was utterly overshadowed Tuesday night by the ongoing storm stirred up by former government minister Per Sandberg and his controversial summer holiday in Iran. Sandberg’s admitted security violations both before and during the trip to Iran were repeatedly used by opposition party leaders in […]

Security issues hit Solberg’s coalition

NEWS ANALYSIS: The past few week’s political storm over errant government minister Per Sandberg was supposed to die down on Tuesday, but was leaving lots of damage in its wake. Opposition politicians are milking it for all its worth, as they seem to seek new ways to topple Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s conservative government coalition. […]

Progress veteran replaces Sandberg

UPDATED: Harald Tom Nesvik, a Progress Party veteran with 20 years of experience in Parliament, was officially appointed by King Harald V on Monday to take over as Norway’s fisheries minister. Nesvik replaces the embattled Per Sandberg, who lost support within his own party as well as the government itself over a holiday trip to […]

Sandberg resigns, also from party

UPDATED: Embattled Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg had to give in to pressure to resign his government post on Monday, and he also resigned as deputy leader of the conservative Progress Party. His resignations follow weeks of criticism that escalated during the weekend, regarding his highly controversial summer holiday trip to Iran and various violations of […]

PST investigates minister’s partner

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) was reporting Friday evening that Norway’s police intelligence agency PST was now investigating the background of Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg’s new romantic partner Bahareh Letnes, and any ties she may have to the Iranian regime. She has denied having any. It’s the latest development in the ongoing drama around the 58-year-old veteran […]

Pressure grows on errant minister

The political future of the Progress Party’s Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg was in grave doubt heading into the weekend, as the list of his recent offenses continued to grow. Prime Minister Erna Solberg was also under enormous pressure from Parliament to replace him. Sandberg survived replacement at Friday’s weekly Council of State, the formal meeting […]

Minister broke more government rules

A political storm continued to swirl around Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg through the weekend. Now he admits that he took his government-issued mobile phone with him not only on his highly controversial summer holiday trip to Iran, but also to China this past spring. Several of his conservative Progress Party colleagues are as angry with […]

Minister’s boss ‘registers’ Iran trip

“I have registered that Per Sandberg has been on holiday in Iran,” the leader of his Progress Party, Siv Jensen, wrote in her first comment on Sandberg’s controversial summer trip to Iran with his new Iranian-born girlfriend. Jensen neither criticized nor supported Sandberg in her carefully worded email to state broadcaster NRK on Wednesday. Jensen, […]

Solberg reins in errant minister

Prime Minister Erna Solberg has broken her initial silence over Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg’s controversial summer holiday in Iran. Now she claims there’s “no doubt” he should have reported where he was going before leaving for Iran, and that he thus has violated government regulations. “I have spoken with Per Sandberg,” Solberg told reporters when […]