Police officer jailed for corruption

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A high-ranking officer with the Oslo Police District has been arrested and charged with corruption in a case that has severely shaken police colleagues. A court on Tuesday ordered that he be held in custody for at least the next four weeks, two of them in full isolation, while an investigation proceeds.

Norwegian police complain that they're still poorly prepared to respond to emergencies, a year after incurring criticism over their poor response to the terrorist attacks of July 22, 2011. PHOTO: Justisdepartementet

Oslo police were severely shaken by reports that one of their high-ranking and experienced colleagues had been arrested and charged with gross corruption. PHOTO: Justisdepartementet

The leader for the police district’s internal affairs division, Liv Øyen, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that she could confirm that a member of the Oslo police force had been arrested and charged with “grov korrupsjon” (gross corruption).

Øyen said the case has been given “high priority,” adding that “we view this as very serious.”

The custody hearing was kept secret, and ultimately held behind closed doors. Øyen said there was reason to suspect that the police officer is involved in corruption, while NRK reported that he also is charged in a major narcotics case.

“We have launched a major investigation that involves both technical and tactical examinations,” Øyen told NRK. The investigation is at an early stage, however, and Øyen didn’t want to confirm further details.

Oslo Police Chief Hans Sverre Sjøvold refused to be interviewed, but wrote in a press release Tuesday afternoon that the charges against one of his officers were “extremely serious and terribly sad.”

The defense attorney for the allegedly corrupt police officer, who hasn’t been publicly identified, said his client hadn’t been shown any documentation relating to his case and has been held in isolation since his arrest on Monday.

“He is now undergoing questioning like the experienced policeman he is,” defense attorney Jens-Ove Hagen told VG Nett. “He clearly is in deep despair over the charges that he now must fight. He has distanced himself from what he’s charged with and has denied that the charges are correct.”

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund