A veteran Oslo policeman facing corruption charges hopes an exemption from his confidentiality obligations will help him argue his case. Eirik Johnsen appeared in a closed court on Wednesday, but was ordered held for another four weeks in custody.
Johnsen has already been held for eight weeks under strict conditions. That was extended for four more weeks, including a media and photography ban and control over his communications and visitors. Jensen was charged in February for gross corruption over allegations the undercover agent was involved in a hash smuggling ring, claims the 56-year-old denied.
It was Johnsen’s first court hearing since Oslo police chief Hans Sverre Sjøvold freed him from his confidentiality obligations, allowing him to speak freely in the closed court. Johnsen reportedly had a poor working relationship with some of his colleagues, including his boss in the Oslo organized crime section, Einar Aas.
“Until recently, my client was under a strict confidentiality clause,” lawyer Jens-Ove Hagen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “The exemption from this increases the chances of release. Now he gets a greater opportunity to explain himself freely about his role as a professional police officer.”
“He wants to do what he can to inform the judge about his situation and the burden it is to sit in custody,” Hagen told news bureau NTB. “He simply wants to take up the fight.”