The Sex message sent to Navarsete does not trigger any sanctions from the Centre Party against the men involved
– We strongly distance ourselves from the Sex message sent to Liv Signe Navarsete, but can not punish anyone without proof says chairperson in the Centre Party (Sp), Trygve Slagsvold Vedum.
– This is an unheard of Sex message that Navarsete never should have been subject to. It has caused great strain to her. But at the same time we can not sanction individuals when we do not know who sent it, says Vedum to NTB after the case of the two years old message “We Want your Pussy” was finalized by the Centre Party’s Central Committee on Thursday.
Vedum says it is up to Ola Borten Moe to consider whether and when he wants to return as the deputy leader of the party. Borten Moe chose Monday last week to step down until further notice in order to give the party space to handle the matter.
No collective punishment
The harassing Sex message was sent to Navarsete’s inbox on Facebook from a phone belonging to former state secretary Morten Søberg. He was on a cabin trip to Sweden together with nine other men in 2016, including Borten Moe, and several of Moe’s allies.
– What distinguishes this case from other #MeeToo cases is that it is usually known who has done something wrong, but that there are uncertainties about what has happened. Here it is known what has happened but uncertain who has performed the action. There are potentially nine innocent people, says Vedum.
He adds that it is a fundamental principle of law that it should not be sanctioned when no one knows who to punish.
“We can not right one wrong by committing another injustice. There is no basis for collective punishment either in our party’s guidelines, laws or in Norwegian jurisprudence. Those are the facts of the matter – unfortunately, Vedum says to NTB.
Without sanctional power
The Central Committee of the Centre Party states that the content of the message is a clear breach of the party’s ethical guidelines.
The Central Committee believes it is highly regrettable that nobody has admitted to having sent this message after countless requests to be a man about it. The party’s Central Committee does not see that it has any further means available to get the person(s) to admit guilt, the resolution states.
– When the police also have closed the case, we can do nothing more than to take note of it, says Vedum to NTB.
Believes in Borten Moe
Vedum says he can not judge anyone on assumptions.
– When those I have spoken with are deeply sorry that this has happened and that they do not know who sent the message, I assume that they are speaking the truth. I can not rate it as long as I do not know. Then I will judge on assumptions, and you can not do that, Vedum says, when asked if he trusted the ten who participated on the cabin trip in 2016.
– That also applies to Ola Borten Moe?
– I trust that when he tells me he has not done it, that he is very sorry that it happened, I think that he is very sincere. I have no reason to believe that he does not think so.
– When can Borten Moe return?
– He himself chose to step down for the time being. Now the Secretary-General will have final conversations with the people involved. After that Ola must consider it himself. He is elected by the National Convention of Sp. When the Secretary-General has closed the case, Ola himself has to make the assessment, says Vedum.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today