Cookie Consent by Free Privacy Policy Generator
23.7 C
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

MP downplays shoplifting charge

UPDATED: Bjørnar Moxnes, the high-profile leader of the Reds Party and a Member of Parliament, has admitted to being “very embarrassed” over charges that he stole a pair of sunglasses from a shop at Oslo’s main airport at Gardermoen. He claims he didn’t mean to steal them, but “forgot” he hadn’t paid for them when he walked out of the shop.

Member of Parliament Bjørnar Moxnes, leader of the Reds Party, has landed in trouble over a pair of Hugo Boss sunglasses that police think he stole from a Travel Retail Norway shop at OSL Gardermoen.
PHOTO: Rødt/Ihne Pedersen

“It’s absolutely correct that I took a pair of sunglasses out of a store at Gardermoen without paying for them,” Moxnes told local newspaper Romerikes Blad. “That wasn’t the intention, and it’s very embarrassing.”

He said he simply forgot he had the Hugo Boss sunglasses when he left the shop while at the airport on June 16. “Later a guard came up to me and asked for the sunglasses,” Moxnes said. “I was incredibly embarrassed. Instead of trying to explain the situation I just took the consequences.”

That included returning to the store, paying NOK 1,199 (around USD 112) for the sunglasses and accepting a penalty. It arrived Friday afternoon, a fine of NOK 3,000 (nearly USD 300), which Moxnes told state broadcaster NRK he already has paid.

Moxnes, known for his clear speech both in debate and in Parliament, also told NRK that he wants “to make up” for his offense, which he continues to claim was unintentional.

Police aren’t so sure, noting in their written account of the incident that Moxnes “took a pair of sunglasses of the Hugo Boss brand, valued at NOK 1,199, and went out of the shop without paying.” The shop is run by Travel Retail Norway, which operates all tax-free stores at the OSL Gardermoen airport.

Prosecutors, according to the police, believe Moxnes’ alleged guilt in what amounts to shoplifting “can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and that the case should be decided with a penalty. The penalty (fine) is an offer to compensate for the offense out of court.”

Prosecutor Ole-Martin Gurandsrud told NRK that evidence in the case includes surveillance video and statements from the shopkeeper and Moxnes. Gurandsrud said police at the scene believe Moxnes “acted with intent,” knowing what he was doing.

Reaction from Moxnes’ colleagues in Parliament, where he’s a leader of its left-wing side, was guarded. The leader of the Parliament’s disciplinary committee, MP Peter Frølich of the Conservatives, declined comment as did the leader of the justice committee, Per-Willy Amundsen of the right-wing Progress Party.

“In general terms, I think everyone, also politicians, must pay for whatever they pick up in a store,” MP Sivert Bjørnstad, also of the Progress Party, told NRK. “Reds politicians should of course, too.” Bjørnstad’s party colleague Helge André Njåstad, meanwhile, told NRK that he thinks it’s a “sad” case for Moxnes “and probably can be blamed on him being distracted. I don’t think he intentionally did this.”

MP Ivar Prestbakmo of the Center Party agreed that the case is “first and foremost embarrassing. The decision to penalize him with a fine of 3,000 kroner reflects the police’s usual evaluation of such cases, and that he has thus received his punishment.” Berglund



For more news on Arctic developments.



If you like what we’re doing, please consider a donation. It’s easy using PayPal, or our Norway bank account. READ MORE