Tax expert, Eivind Furuseth, was called on by Ap, and asked to withdraw critical comments he’d made of the party leader,Jonas Gahr Støre, to NRK news.
The Ap-leader’s right hand man, Hans Kristian Amundsen, called the associate professor Furuseth at BI Norwegian Business School after the latter had stated to NRK news that Støre had sold out on a controversial construction project at Ensjø in Oslo’,reported VG newspaper.
The reason for the criticism was that Støre allowed his friend, Knut Brundtland, of the brokerage firm, ABG Sundal Collier,to negotiate the price of the sale. Furuseth believes Støre should have said ‘no thanks’ to the services of his friend, or insist on paying.
After Furuseth had said this, he was called personally by Amundsen, who urged him to withdraw the comments before the story was published.
‘I thought it was uncomfortable. He insisted that I should withdraw my comments, and urged me to contact NRK news. I’ve never experienced anything like it before,’ said Furuseth to VG newspaper.
Amundsen told the newspaper that he didn’t ask Furuseth to withdraw the comments, but to ‘adjust’ them. NRK interviewed both Furuseth and the law professor, and former dean at the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo, Hans Petter Graver.
Graver supported Furuseth, and believed that in the particular case, Støre had moved into an area where warning lights for corruption should have been blinking, even if there had been no criminal offences made.
However, Graver’s criticisms weren’t published by NRK. Amundsen also made calls to Graver, who stood by his originalstatements.
On behalf of Ap, the attorney, Christian Reuch, also sent a letter to NRK, pointing out that there might be possible legal consequences for mentioning the case, and for any suggestions of possible corruption.
‘It was a bit uncomfortable, and I felt threatened by Ap. As a lawyer, I know that Christian Reusch is a highly respected attorney, who has worked many years in the Attorney General’s office’, said Furuseth.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today