Supreme Court rejects Tjøme case – NRK Vestfold and Telemark – Local News, TV and Radio

Supreme Court rejects Tjøme case – NRK Vestfold and Telemark – Local News, TV and Radio

Therefore, the judgment of the Court of Appeal stands.

In January, Djom architect Rune Preli and former construction case manager Harald Svendsen were convicted of gross corruption. They were punished because Briley designed a house for Swentsen for free.

At the same time, Svendsen sat down and processed Preli’s building applications for Tjøme municipality. They themselves believe that they are innocent and that it is a friendly service.

At the Akter Court of Appeal, Brailey was sentenced to 9 months in prison. Svendsen received an 11-month prison sentence.

Both appealed the verdict to the Supreme Court.

The result is disappointing

Rune Briley is taking note of the appeals panel’s decision, according to her defense attorney Thomas Skelfred.

– My client, of course, is very disappointed and surprised that the Supreme Court did not accept this case for consideration, says Skjelbred.

Skjelbred believes that this decision leaves an unpredictable corruption rule, i.e. the Norwegian law on corruption borders on the basis of disqualification assessment.

When the threshold for corruption rules is set as low as it is now, Skjelfred says, it’s too dangerous for ordinary people to have casual relationships with people in public office.

He believes it will become a democratic problem in a country with so many small municipalities that “everyone knows”.

So far, NRK has not succeeded in getting a comment from Harald Svendsen’s defender Knut Henrik Strom.

Decision of the Appellate Panel

The Supreme Court’s Appellate Division unanimously concluded that there was insufficient cause to hear the case.

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The Committee has examined whether the appeal relates to issues of importance outside the case or whether there are other grounds for the case to be heard in the Supreme Court.

The house was designed by the architect for free for the building manager in the municipality. Now both have been convicted in the corruption case and the verdict is final.

Photo: Facsimile from advertisement

Four rounds in court

The case previously went through four rounds of the court system. In the district court, they were sentenced to eight months in prison. Both were relieved to be acquitted at the Court of Appeal.

But the Supreme Court quashed the sentence. Thus, the case came up for hearing again in the Court of Appeal in December 2022.

Hence, the Appellate Court sentenced the two to prison in January this year.

The appeals court gave Swenson a harsher sentence than Briley.

According to the ruling, the court asserted that Svendsen had abused his position by seeking Briley’s help and initiating bribes.

The judgment of the Court of Appeal was appealed to the Supreme Court. Svendsen and Briley believed the appeals court had committed procedural errors. And appealed against the law and sentence.

Survey of Construction Sector

The case began in June 2017. NRK later revealed that another employee at Tjøme municipality was paid to fill out building case papers that he himself had processed. The person was suspended.

This first led the municipality to get a company to investigate the building sector. Their report concluded that there were procedural errors, but no corruption.

Tom Rawndall

Tom Rowndall himself informed NRK of what he thought were illegal activities in the coastal zone, and the police worked diligently to investigate the matter.

Photo: Håkon Eliassen / NRK

However the politicians decided to send the report to the police. NRK’s ​​source and whistleblower Tom Rawndall helped the police investigate the case.

Police began an investigation, and Briley and Svendsen were charged. The case went through several rounds of the legal system.

At the same time, the municipal administration is keeping a close eye on procedural errors. Thus the survey was conducted in the cabins and jetties in the coastal zone. Today, Færder Municipality has several hundred such cases on its list of cases with possible errors.

Two cases were also reported as independent corruption cases for Økokrim. It has not been decided whether charges will be filed here.

Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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