Søviknes haunted by old rape case

Terje SøviknesMinister of Oil and Energy, Terje Søviknes. Photo: Regjeringen.no

The Søviknes case on the Attorney General’s desk

The Norwegian Attorney General is to decide whether the Søviknes case will be reopened. The lawyer of the woman who wants to reopen the sexual abuse case recently issued a supplementary complaint.


– We treat the case in the usual manner and review it as quickly as possible. This usually means within 30 days, says State Attorney Terje Nybøe to NTB.

The County Prosecutor for Buskerud, Vestfold and Telemark rejected a request for resumption of the 18-years-old case on June 18th this year.

A girl, who was 16 years at the time, claims she was raped by The then Mayor of the Os Municipality, Terje Søviknes (Progress Party), during the National Convention of the Progress Party Youth (FpU) in 2000. Søviknes admits that the two had sexual intercourse, but categorically rejects that it happened without mutual consent.

Incorrect legislation

The woman’s lawyer, Jannicke Keller-Fløystad, informs NTB that she in July appealed the rejection by the General Attorney’s office and that she sent a supporting letter a few days ago. That is a supplementary complaint, which is now on its way to the Norwegian Attorney General’s office.

– Both deficiencies in the investigation and the choice of retrenchment code make it questionable whether the investigation was objective or whether it has been taken into consideration, says Keller-Fløystad to Bergens Tidende after it earlier this summer became known that the girl wants a re-investigation of the case.

Terje Søviknes gave the following comment via his political advisor Christian Haugen when it was clear that the Attorney General rejected to resume the case:

– I have many times during the last 18 years apologised for what happened in 2000. It should not have happened and it was my responsibility to prevent it from doing so. At the same time, I have been clear that there was never any criminal offence involved. For all the parties concerned, I hope that we can now put this case to rest.

Facts about Terje Søviknes

  • Norwegian politician representing the Progress Party. Minister of Oil and Energy since 2016
  • Born February 28th, 1969
  • Graduated Aquaculture Engineer from Bergen Engineering College. Has studied economics at the Norwegian School of Economics
  • Worked part-time at Entrepreneur Nydal from 1985 to1988 and Drange boatyard from 1988 to1995. A self-employed fisherman from 1994 to 1999
  • Deputy Representative in the Norwegian Parliament for the Progress Party (Hordaland) in the election period from 1997 to 2001
  • Member of the Progress Party (Frp) Central Committee from 1995 to 1999 and from 2013 onwards.
  • Deputy Leader for the Progress Party from 1999 to 2001
  • Currently on leave from the job as Mayor of Os, which he has been since 1999
  • Withdrew from all parliamentary positions in 2001 after it became known that he had sexual intercourse with a 16-years-old girl at a National Convention of the Progress Party Youth Organisation in 2000. The teenager reported Søviknes for rape, but the case was dismissed by the police. In June, it became apparent that she wants a reopening of the investigation


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today