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Norwegian MP resigns after shoplifting scandal

Police claim the leader of a left-wing party acted with intent in stealing designer sunglasses at Oslo Airport, local media reported.

The leader of the Norwegian left-wing Red party, a member of the country’s parliament, Bjornar Moxnes, resigned on Monday following a scandal that broke out after he was caught stealing designer sunglasses at Oslo Airport in mid-June.

In his latest Facebook post, Moxnes explained the decision to resign by saying that he is the only one responsible for what happened and he doesn’t “want his mistakes to affect those closest” to him. He added that his friends had also been targeted publicly. The politician has also called on his colleagues to “focus on the politics” ahead of upcoming 2023 elections.

Admitting his culpability, Moxnes admitted that the way he “handled it further” – he was accused of changing his version of what transpired several times – made the situation worse. He initially claimed that he took the Hugo Boss glasses by mistake and was asked by an employee to return them. He later posted a different version on Facebook, claiming that he mistakenly thought the sunglasses were his own and then, instead of returning them to the shop, tore the price tag off, saying he “panicked and was afraid of what it would look like” if he went back to the store.

On June 30, the Norwegian Broadcaster NRK reported that police had charged the politician with stealing “with the intention of obtaining an unjustified gain for himself or others,” supporting the accusations with CCTV footage. The same day, Moxnes said he had been fined 3,000 Norwegian kroner (just under $300) for shoplifting.

He subsequently went on sick leave, stepping down a day prior to his return and passing the Red party reins to Marie Sneve Martinussen, who ha taken the job on an interim basis. However, Moxnes can’t give up his MP seat because current rules prohibit quitting an elected office.

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Source:NZ Police

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