Based on requests, the Criminal Cases Review Commission has decided to reopen 36 cases related to the so-called NAV scandal.
Common to the cases is that the convicted persons resided in other EEA countries simultaneously as they were receiving work clearance allowances or sickness allowances from the NAV.
The people in question had neither been granted permission to stay abroad through an application to the NAV nor reported that they were staying abroad in the report cards. On this basis, they were convicted of fraud against the NAV by the district courts.
At that time, however, several EEA law issues were not considered by the courts, including whether it could be contrary to EEA law to consider temporary residence in EEA countries (for example, longer holiday stays) as a barrier to receiving benefits.
In its decisions, the commission referred to a Supreme Court decision in which it took a position on the relationship between the Norwegian National Insurance Act and the EEA regulations. After obtaining a statement from the EFTA Court, the Supreme Court found that the residence requirement in Norwegian law was contrary to EEA law.
The NAV admitted that it had misinterpreted the EEA regulations since 2012. The 36 people who now have their cases reopened had been sentenced to punishments including fines, community work, conditional and unconditional imprisonment.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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