Government funding body will examine Romani fund due to suspicion of corruption

Holger GustavsenOSLO.Holger Gustavsen, head of the Foundation for the Romani People.Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

The government’s police reviewer is to investigate management of the Foundation for Romani People/Travellers’ Culture on suspicion of embezzlement, fraud, and corruption.

According to Finansavisen, in a letter sent to the Oslo Police from the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, it said, ‘…we will forward the matter to the police, for consideration of possible criminal offenses by members, and possibly on the part of employees of the Foundation for Romani People/Travellers Culture and the Romani People/Travellers Center.’

The Romani People/Travellers Culture Fund (RT Fund) was established in 2004 as a collective redress for abuses they had been victims of. As of 2014, the fund was replaced by an annual budgetary allocation.

The RT-Fund was designed to support cultural projects, but according to the newspaper report, the money had not gone toward such projects, and the government has refused to disburse grants over the course of the past three years.

In February, Finansavisen reported that three out of four directors of the RT-fund had been investigated by the Foundation Authority for a new, critical audit report. It is on the basis of this investigation that the ministry will now review the Romani Foundation.

Attorney Henning Brath represents the foundation, and he claims the terms for a police report are not present. Brath also questioned whether it was the Ministry, and not the Foundation Authority, who carried out the original review of the case.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today