An editor is considering reporting Sandberg to the police
The editor of Fiskeribladet (Norwegian fisherman’s magazine) received a message late at night from Per Sandberg, which he believes could be interpreted as an «indirect threat». The Minister of Fisheries denies that it is meant as a threat.
«Karma will bite you in the ass, be assured of that», was written in a text message from Minister of Fisheries, Per Sandberg (Progress Party) to Fiskeribladet’s editor Øystein Hage the night before Saturday.
– I laughed at the message at first, but eventually, I became a bit worried, says Hage to his own magazine.
Reported to the police
– It is quite sensational to get such a message from a cabinet minister. We tolerate criticism and can tolerate being yelled at, but I can never remember to have received something which can be interpreted as an indirect threat. When we make mistakes, we must, of course, apologise, maybe the Cabinet Minister should show regret as well, the editor states. He also reacted to receiving such a message in the middle of the night, weekend or not.
The Norwegian Security Service (PST) has been notified of the matter.
– I was encouraged by PST to report Sandberg to the police, but I have not decided whether to do so yet, says Hage to his news magazine.
Garden says he experiences the message as being uncomfortable, but he does not quite know how it should be interpreted.
The PST rejects to Dagsavisen that they have urged the editor to report Sandberg.
– We have referred the person to his local police district if he wanted to report what he perceived as threats. That’s the routine, writes Information Manager at PST, Martin Berntsen, in a text message to Dagsavisen.
Secretary-General in the Norwegian Editor’s Association, Arne Jensen, says he can not assess the phrase «Karma will bite you in the ass, be assured of that», but it is still adamant that this is not acceptable from a cabinet minister.
– It is absolutely unacceptable that a Cabinet Minister writes something that can be perceived as threatening, he says to Fiskeribladet.
Jensen says that the Editor’s Association has as a policy that all threats that are perceived as being real should be reported to the police.
– But it must be considered by the individual editor, and there will be different assessments in such cases, says Jensen.
The Secretary-General says that Sandberg ought to have contacted the editor to point out more specifically what he is dissatisfied with.
– Sandberg does not do that, he is completely unspecified and using general terms only.
A Cabinet Minister should be careful about what tone of voice he uses, says Jensen.
Sandberg has referred the news magazine’s question in the case to the Ministry of Food and Fisheries, where the Communications Manager, Martine Røiseland, answers the following on behalf of Sandberg:
– This was never meant as a threat, but only to express my frustration.
The backdrop is that Fiskeribladet has covered Sandberg’s private holiday trip to Iran extensively, including that he broke all security recommendations by bringing his work phone with him, only to leave it unguarded for most of the time.
© Dagsavisen / #Norway Today