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– Explanation that has zero credibility – NRK Sport – Sports news, results and broadcasting schedule

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– Explanation that has zero credibility – NRK Sport – Sports news, results and broadcasting schedule

– This indictment against Besseberg is a sad chapter in the history of what started as the story of a very skilled leader of biathlon, said prosecutor Marianne Djupesland in her proceedings in the trial against Anders Besseberg on Wednesday.

Besseberg is charged with gross corruption while he was president of the International Biathlon Union. But he pleads not guilty after the indictment.

– More and more limitless

In the procedure, Djupesland went into detail about why Besseberg should be punished.

The proceedings will continue on Thursday morning.

Among other things, this has been highlighted in court today:

  • Lack of transparency about the benefits in the indictment.
  • That Besseberg himself also realized that a watch was about lubrication
  • That Besseberg has not returned gifts he knew the value of.
  • That the court can safely rely on admissions about prostitutes in police interviews.
  • That he got benefits because he was president.
  • That he himself was aware of what could be conflicts of interest.

Court signature of Besseberg and his lawyers in court. Besseberg has not wanted to be photographed in court.

Photo: Ane Hem

Djupesland pointed out that the presidential act went completely wrong for Besseberg.

– And the evidence has shown that, to an increasing degree, perhaps especially in the last four years of his work, he became more and more limitless, with a view to mixing his private interests into the role of president, said Djupesland.

Økokrim believes, among other things, that Besseberg has used the presidency to cover his passionate interest in hunting and other very private interests.

For Besseberg is accused of having accepted goods and services in the form of expensive watches, a leasing car, exclusive hunting trips and prostitutes from Russians and a company (Infront) that negotiated marketing agreements for the International Biathlon Federation.

Attack explanation

Besseberg was then severely attacked for changing his statement in court about prostitutes.

This included his admission in police interrogation in 2018 about intercourse with a woman, who had been sent up to his room, in connection with a show race in Moscow in 2013.

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– I will assume that they are prostitutes when a young, pretty girl is brought to my room, Djupesland quoted Besseberg as saying in a police interview.

She added that Besseberg suggested that Russian biathlon director Sergei Kustchenko could have sent the woman.

– Here in court, almost six years later, he comes up with a different explanation, said Djupesland.

Besseberg himself has previously said in court that a woman came into the room when he was lying under the covers. He has said that he let her in and went to bed again.

He further explained that he tried to speak to the woman in both English and German, but that he perceived that she only answered in Russian.

– I said in English that I had to sleep, Besseberg said early in the trial and then denied that he received sexual favors from this woman.

This has caused Økokrim to react.

– This is simply an excuse, which has zero credibility, said Djupesland in the procedure and pointed to the questioning with Besseberg.

Besseberg himself has been tight-lipped in court about the charges against prostitutes. He has believed that he has corrected mistakes from the first police interview and other interviews about prostitutes.

Djupesland has reacted to this.

And to some extent he comes up with new and completely reconstructed ones explanations of what happened this evening, which are completely improbable, said Djupesland.

Besseberg’s defenders do not want to comment on this.

We are not commenting on this now, but will return to this in the procedure, says defender Mikkel Toft Gimse to NRK.

The defense’s proceedings are held on the last day of the trial, which is Thursday.

Believes Besseberg is protected

Besseberg also received strong criticism for how he has explained his time with a Russian woman in 2016 and 2018. This is a woman he has claimed in court that he had a relationship with.

According to Djupesland, the relationship did not have the characteristics of being a “boyfriend relationship”, but that there were clear messages that she was to live in a room with Besseberg.

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Djupesland also pointed out that the Russian biathlete Viktor Majgurov had several tasks to bring about the meeting between them in connection with the World Cup in Tyumen in 2018.

Majgurov should, among other things:

  • Ensure that the woman made it from her home town of Omsk to the hotel room in Tyumen.
  • Call the woman and establish contact as he had been told
  • Provide necessary information for the travel plan
  • Organize where the woman and Besseberg would live. And arrange for the meeting to take place undisturbed.

Økokrim thought it was not credible that Besseberg did not perceive the woman as a person who offered sexual services, already when they met for the first time in 2016. Then he was also together with a Russian biathlon leader.

The Russian woman also went on a fishing and hunting trip at a hunting resort in the Tyumen region in 2018.

Anders Besseberg during the World Cup race in Tyumen, Russia in 2018. Here together with Governor Vladimir Yakushev, who has also been a key player in the trial. Among other things, because of the trip where the Russian woman appeared.

Foto: Sergey Rusanov / Shutterstock

From this trip, Økokrim also showed a photo that is still shown in court. There, Besseberg was ice fishing surrounded by a number of key people in the trial. This applied to both Russian biathlete tops, sponsor top Volker Schmid and former IBU top Peter Bayer. In addition, the Russian woman was also on this trip.

– And she has been brought in there to be Besteberg’s mistress these days, we think, said Djupesland and concluded thus:

– So then, in a way, the corrupt triangle is illustrated. The triangle between the Russian Federation, Infront, and President Besseberg.

Djupesland also pointed out that several witnesses in the case, who were on this trip, either did not remember that the woman was there or believed that she was an interpreter. But intercepted phone calls have shown that the woman knew very little English.

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– It also shows how these in the small circle are initiated into the scheme and protect Besseberg, said Djupesland.

Hidden bindings

In court, Økokrim also pointed out that a number of the conditions Besseberg is accused of are required, received or accepted in Norway.

Anders Besseberg himself has denied that there was secrecy surrounding the watch gifts he received. But Secretary General Nicole Resch has explained in court that she did not know about expensive watch gifts from Russians.

Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix

They point out that:

  • The leased car in the indictment, which was paid for by market giant Infront, has been received in Norway.
  • Watches have been received or kept in Norway.
  • The premeditated hunt with Volker Schmid, who is central to the indictment, has been agreed and accepted in Norway on Besseberg’s part.
  • That also being together with a woman they believe offers sexual services is agreed upon in Norway.

– There has been no transparency about this. The ties to the Russian Federation and Infront have largely been hidden ties, Djupesland said.

Djupesland pointed out that Besseberg as president was thus in a constant state of disqualification, and that this applied both to the Russian federation and Infront.

She pointed out that one is then in the middle of the core area for what the corruption provision is intended to cover, the risk of, and the possibility of, external influence and improper exercise of authority.

– It is a main conclusion that the objective as well as the subjective conditions have been met for all the points in the indictment, said prosecutor Marianne Djupesland in court.

Økokrim’s claim for punishment will only be made known on Thursday.

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