Former Norwegian minister Svein Ludvigsen | Photo: ARCHIVE/EPA/Stian Lysberg Solum
Former Norwegian minister Svein Ludvigsen | Photo: ARCHIVE/EPA/Stian Lysberg Solum

Svein Ludvigsen was sentenced to five years in jail for having sexually abused three young asylum seekers when he was a regional governor. Between 2011 and 2017, Ludvigsen reportedly demanded sex in exchange for granting a stay permit and threatened expulsion if the asylum seeker refused.

Norway is in shock over the conviction of former fisheries minister Svein Ludvigsen, who was sentenced to five years in prison for having sexually abused three young asylum seekers, one of whom was a minor, during his tenure as regional governor of Tromso.

Sex in exchange for a stay permits 

Judges said Ludvigsen demanded sex in exchange for granting a stay permit, and threatened immediate expulsion if the asylum seeker refused. The young victims - whose nationality wasn't revealed but who are now aged 25, 26, and 34 - said that the governor's abuse took place in his home and country house, hotel rooms, and even his office. 

In addition to a stay permit, Ludvigsen also promised the young men a home and a job. At the time the abuse took place, one of the men was 17 years old, and another had been diagnosed with a mild intellectual disability.

The former minister admitted to having sex with one of the young men but insisted that it was consensual. He denied having sex with the other two and said he will appeal the verdict.

'An extreme misuse of power'

Ludvigsen was also ordered to pay damages to the three migrants - a total of 743,000 Norwegian kroner (that's roughly 76,600 euros). 

Ludvigsen, a conservative, served as fisheries minister from 2001 to 2005 and regional governor of Tromso, in the Arctic Circle, from 2006 to 2014. He left politics in 2014. 

Ann-Magrit Austena, secretary general of the Norwegian Organisation for Asylum Seekers, told the BBC: "The verdict is important. [What Ludvigsen did was] an extreme breach of trust, an extreme misuse of power." 

In 2018, Norway received 2,654 asylum requests, the majority from Syrians, according to data from the European Council on Refugees and Exiles.
 

More articles