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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Ambassador accused of beating wife

Norwegian authorities are caught in a difficult diplomatic dilemma, after an ambassador stationed in Oslo was reported to the local police for beating his wife. She has sought shelter in a local crisis center, and may be allowed to stay in Norway if and when the abusive ambassador is recalled.

In the meantime, however, police are relatively powerless because the ambassador has diplomatic immunity. He can’t be charged with assault or even be forced to comply with a restraining order, because of his diplomatic status.

Newspaper VG reported late last week that the ambassador, whose identity was being withheld, was first reported to police in mid-December but police won’t say who reported him. “I can confirm that we are investigating this case,” Janne Stømner of the Oslo Police District told VG.

Stømner said police have conducted some questioning and want to question others, but several also have diplomatic immunity and aren’t required to cooperate with the police probe. Norway’s Foreign Ministry has been made aware of the case and was awaiting results of the investigation.

“It’s a serious case and therefore one for the police,” ministry spokesman Frode Andersen told VG. He refused to say whether ministry officials had been in contact with the embassy involved. The ambassador himself has declined comment.

VG reported that Norwegian authorities are evaluating whether to offer residency to the ambassador’s wife. Her husband has been stationed in Oslo for the past few years and likely would soon be either brought home or reassigned to another country. Spouses generally follow along, but in this case, the abused wife may be allowed to remain in Norway if she fears leaving the country with or even without her husband.

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