Norway ex-minister's former partner charged in threats case

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The ex-companion of Norway’s former justice minister whose home was targeted with vandalism and small fires in 2018 and 2019, was Thursday charged in the case.

The prosecutor’s office says Laila Bertheussen is suspected of sending a threatening letter to then-Justice Minister Tor Mikkel Wara, setting fire to a garbage container outside his Oslo home, and scrawling graffiti — including the word “racist” and a swastika — on his house.

The National Authority for Prosecution of Organized and other Serious Crime charged her with "threatening democracy” and listed seven episodes that Bertheussen is suspected of doing with the aim of “influencing Tor Mikkel Wara’s work as justice minister.”

The case was investigated by the Norwegian domestic security agency. Wara, who stepped down in March because of the case, earlier had called the incidents "unpleasant and scary."

Bertheussen lawyer, John Christian Elden, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that she will plead innocent.

If found guilty, she faces up to 10 years in prison.

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