Huitfeldt didn’t follow through on his suggestion: – It didn’t seem very responsible

Changing answers, new information and clear advice that wasn’t followed: That’s why Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt is still in trouble.

However, a number of subsequent revelations suggest that Huitfeldt was keeping some cards close to his chest.

  • Both VG and TV2 have revealed that Huitfeldt’s husband, Ola Flem, bought and sold shares in companies close to Huitfeldt’s meetings with those companies.
  • Huitfeldt also did not answer press questions about her husband’s shares. Only after two weeks did he reveal the information in an interview with VG and then a press conference on August 30.
  • Huitfeldt said she and her husband had conversations about stock trading while he was in office, and she advised him to be careful. But DN has written this week that he received clear advice from then-Foreign Minister Tore Hattrem that the man should invest in funds, and not in individual shares. He did not follow this advice.

– There is no point in believing when, for example, we have to change the story or we see information that is not necessarily true. It seems irresponsible when, among other things, you have received clear recommendations from the Foreign Affairs Council and the SMK, but you have not acted on them, said Grunde Almeland (V) at the Storting Control and Constitutional Committee.

CONTROLLER: Grunde Almeland said that the control committee will probably ask Huitfeldt for an explanation.  They also asked for this after the cases of Anette Trettebergstuen, Ola Borten Moe and Tonje Brenna.

He was a hearing officer in the control committee’s investigation into the government’s handling of integrity cases.

He emphasized that a number of things revealed in various media in the last few days could become material for questions to Huitfeldt and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The matter of Huitfeldt was unknown when the committee sent questions earlier this summer. On Thursday next week, they will meet to decide what, if anything, they should ask.

Huitfeldt wrote in an email to VG that she “followed the Secretary of State’s advice and passed that advice on” to her husband.

– The Minister of Foreign Affairs did not ask for specific information regarding which companies my husband owned shares in, or how large his investment was. In general, he said that the safest thing to do is invest in mutual funds. Even if he had not asked me to show my husband’s stock holdings, I should have done so on my own initiative, Huitfeldt wrote in an email to VG.

See further answers below.

Tell him to come down

Frps Hans Andreas Limi, it is clear what he thinks should happen.

– Huitfeldt withheld information, and he changed his explanation. “This case is now at a point that weakens trust both in politics in general and in our political governance system,” said Frp deputy chairman Hans Andreas Limi. to VG on Monday.

He recommended Huitfeldt resign.

No answer

Two weeks before the press conference, on August 14, E24 asked Anniken Huitfeldt which stocks Flem had bought and sold in recent years. This occurred eight days after Huitfeldt asked his wife about her stock trades.

When Huitfeldt responded to E24 on August 17, he did not answer which shares the man had traded or state that the State Department had advised the man to freeze all share purchases.

This was despite the fact that on August 17 Huitfeldt had carried out a preliminary review of the man’s stock trading during his time as foreign minister.

Buying and selling – close to the Huitfeldt meeting

Flem has been buying and selling shares in Aker Solutions, Kongsberg Gruppen and Aker ASA since 2021.

The three companies were present when Huitfeldt promoted Norwegian business efforts regarding energy security and the green transition in London, on February 28 this year.

Just three days later – March 3 – Flem invested NOK 53,191 in Aker Solutions.

On May 3 of this year, Huitfeldt visited Kongsberg Gruppen, and later that day he spoke about the company at an open meeting in the library in Kongsberg:

– Thanks to negotiations with the EU, Kongsberg Gruppen and other parties can send weapons to Ukraine, Huitfeldt said at the library, according to Laagendalsposten.

Just two days later – May 5 – bought Flem shares for NOK 47,279 in the company.

ON THE VISIT: Anniken Huitfeldt and several AP leaders at the Kongsberg Gruppen building:

On May 18, the Kongsberg group announced that its companies would produce several weapons systems that Norway would then donate to Ukraine.

Flem sold his shares on July 31 at a loss of around NOK 3,000.

VG previously asked Huitfeldt about the coincidence of timing between her visit and her husband’s stock purchase:

– I don’t know his motivation for investing. He told me that most of the decisions had to do with Investment TechnologyInvestment TechnologyInvesttech is a Norwegian company that, for 25 years, has been developing technical models that generate buy, sell or share ownership recommendations.“The portfolio has eight stocks coming in and out,” Huitfeldt told VG.

Huitfeldt met seismic company Magseis Fairfield during a trip to India two years before her husband bought shares in the same company, TV2 revealed this week. He earned NOK 384,095 from the trade.

Wednesday passed Investtech came out and clarified that they have recommended purchasing Magseis shares several times before the purchase of shares by Flem.

Flem’s lawyer, Pan Farmakis at the law firm Langseth, wrote in an email to E24 that Flem had owned shares in Magseis Fairfield for several years, even before Huitfeldt became secretary of state, and that Flem was well aware of the shares.

Didn’t know when he was helpless

Huitfeldt said he was incompetent in a number of cases, but he would not say or investigate which cases he was referring to.

He referred to the Legal Department’s conclusion that the disqualification did not affect the content of the decision, and therefore the decision was valid.

In the State Department’s letter asking the Legal Department to review the case, it asked for a general statement, not a review of individual decisions. A list of specific share purchases is also not sent to the Legal Department. They were offered to get one, but then had to request the list themselves.

– Happy for clarification

Huitfeldt said that the Secretary of State had read the message from the political handbook and referred to what was written about caution when buying and selling financial instruments.

– At the same time, I am pleased with the clarification from the legal department regarding competence and investment by close relatives and that the SMK regulations have now been expanded and clarified, wrote Huitfeldt.

That’s how he responded to the criticism he leveled at E24 regarding the purchase of shares, two weeks before he himself told about it on VG.

– On August 17 I replied to E24 that two weeks ago I asked the ministry to assess the activities at my husband’s company, and I was waiting for the ministry’s overall assessment, he wrote.


Lance Heptinstall

"Hardcore zombie fan. Incurable internet advocate. Subtly charming problem solver. Freelance twitter ninja."

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