Laila Bertheussen, the live-in partner of a former Norwegian justice minister, was supposed to be back in court this week in another appeal of her jail term for launching threats against government officials. They included her own partner, Tor Mikkel Wara, but she opted to withdrew her appeal just days before her December trial was due to begin, since it was only over the length of her sentence.
Bertheussen still claims she’s innocent of the charges against her, which were viewed as an assault on Norway’s democracy. Her case went all the way to Norway’s Supreme Court, but it refused to hear her appeal of the actual charges, meaning her convictions would stand.
The appeal of her sentence was tossed back to the appeals court but she withdrew it (without informing her own defense attorney), claiming on social media that there was no point “to take part in a court case that would only be about the length of a jail term (20 months) for something I haven’t done. I’ll take my punishment.” She also offered a reward of NOK 100,000 for tips that would clear her, or to whoever may confess to making all the threats and vandalism against the Wara-Bertheussen couple’s own home, car, another fellow Progress Party Member of Parliament and government minister.
After three courts decided she is guilty on all eight charges of the indictment against her, even her defense attorney John Christian Elden conceded this week that her conviction is now in force and she’ll be called in to serve at least two-thirds of her sentence before becoming eligible for parole. She may also be able to serve some of her jail term with a foot link at home.