Saturday, December 4

The court started with Liadal’s travel expenses. Liadal believes that board positions can be linked to being chosen by the people.


What was the job of the board and what was the parliamentary job when Hege Haukeland Liadal traveled to Utsira? And is there really a difference?

Hege Haukeland Liadal at the Oslo District Court.

Tuesday was the fifth day in court for Hege Haukeland Liadal. It was also the day the detailed review of the Labor politician’s travel invoices began.

The first tries to travel to Utsira outside of Haugesund. Liadal sat there before and during the processing period as a board member of Rutebåten Utsira AS. The prosecution believes that travel should not be charged to the Storting.

That is disputed by Liadal. She believes that travel is relevant in several ways for the post of parliamentary representative.

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Listed political issues that were relevant to the Storting

State Attorney Monica Krag Pettersen referenced Liadal’s calendar multiple times throughout the day.

Regarding a bill from September 2016, marked “Meeting on Transportation and Municipal Political Leadership Reform,” the prosecution found no signs of meetings with the political leadership.

A summary of Liadal’s trips to Utsira was sent to the municipality of Utsira, which was unable to confirm official meetings on several of the dates.

Liadal replied that he does not include everything on his calendar. However, he believes that several unofficial meetings have taken place. They make travel relevant to the Storting, Liadal believes.

– Talking with people from the municipal sector is very relevant, he said.

The former parliamentary representative listed several political problems in Utsira. They made the trips relevant as a county ombudsman in the Storting:

  • A power cord beyond the island.
  • To be able to secure money for the municipality.
  • Nursing home.
  • Library and cinema.
  • Commercial and aquaculture facilities on land.

– I have had countless conversations in the city hall and cafes about the municipal structure, Liadal told the court.

Storting director Marianne Andreassen testified Tuesday.

Director without job examples

Where is the limit of what is a business trip for the Storting and what is a private trip?

According to the director of the Storting, Marianne Andreassen, this is simple. But Andreassen could not answer whether there were any challenges or not, when he testified Tuesday morning.

She was unaware of the specific evaluations, she said.

According to the rules, the Storting does not cover travel to board positions, except when the position is related to being elected to the Storting. What does the latter mean?

Andreassen was also unable to answer specifically. Attorney Erik Lea delved into this and District Court Judge Steinar Backe also asked questions.

– Can you give some examples of what a position related to the role of representative can be? He asked.

– No, I think it’s difficult, replied the director of the Storting.

Liadal did not think so. The Utsira liner position is one of those positions for her.

– I have always thought that it is a relevant position for my position as an elected representative.

He became a member of the board by virtue of his role in the Storting.

Liadal’s lawyer, Eirik Lea, presented reports from the mayor of Utsira, Marte Eide Klovning. There, Klovning asked if they should be on their feet before a meeting and if Liadal could bring brochures. The messages were intended to document political activity outside of board meetings.

But also the board meetings themselves, Liadal believes, were relevant to the role of the elected representative.

– I was elected president of the board because I was nominated as a parliamentary representative. It was by virtue of the electoral role, Liadal said.

Later this week, local politicians will testify in court.

As early as Tuesday, lawyer Lea outlined a reason why former Utsira mayor Jarle Nilsen wanted Liadal as a board member: the future role as a parliamentary representative, which could be important for future projects.

From left to right, Lead Investigator Lillian Frette Litlehamar, Police Attorney Kristin Rusdal, and State Attorney Monica Krag Pettersen.

The trip bills did not match the trips.

In addition to the fact that the trips according to the prosecution were not relevant to the Storting, the prosecutor Pettersen pointed to several cases where the times of the trips to Utsira did not coincide with where Liadal actually was.

On one of the 2016 trips, Liadal provided an invoice for two days of accommodation for a board meeting that lasted one day. She thought that Liadal should have realized this, since the travel invoice was signed shortly after the trip.

Liadal told the court that he probably planned to leave the night before, because the ship could be canceled due to bad weather. She said she was sorry it was wrong.

Also later, Liadal provided an invoice for a trip that began the night before a meeting. You could get to the meeting by taking the boat in the morning. This time he supposedly slept two nights, and the last night took place after a Christmas dinner.

“You think it’s natural for the Storting to pay you to spend the night after the Christmas table,” asked the prosecutor.

– I’m serious, yes, said Liadal.

For the third time, the prosecutor considered that Liadal’s car had been intercepted by toll booths in other places and that the trip could not have lasted as long as indicated on the travel invoice.

Liadal expressed several times that it is difficult for him to remember each trip.


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