A pastor in the Norwegian Church has been arrested in the middle of the country’s Easter holidays and charged with domestic violence, confirmed the Sunnmøre Police District on Friday. He faces a custody hearing on Saturday.
Prosecutor Mathias Häber told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that the defendant, a pastor in a town in northwestern Norway that was not identified, was charged with violence and making threats. He was arrested “as a result of a call to the police,” Häber said, and an investigation is underway.
Police intend to ask the court to keep the man in jail for at least two weeks in partial isolation while they investigate the charges against him. Häber wouldn’t release any further details about the case “out of consideration for those involved.”
John Hammervoll, defense attorney for the pastor, said his client had accepted his remand custody “out of consideration for his family. He doesn’t know why the police have acted as they have, but he suspects it’s based on claims from someone who wants to hurt him. He will contribute in all possible ways to make sure the facts in the case come forth.”
An attorney for his alleged victim declined comment on the case pending the court’s ruling on custody. “Now it’s important that police get the time to investigate and that the family gets time to handle this,” attorney Inger-Marie Sperre told NRK.
The bishop for the area, Ingeborg Midttømme, said she was aware of the case but had no further comment. “We have routines within the church for handling such cases and for taking care of those who are in a difficult situation,” Midttøme told NRK.