A former Norwegian cabinet minister has been charged with sexually abusing three asylum seekers over a six year period. 

Svein Ludvigsen, 72, is alleged to have assaulted three men, one of whom had a learning difficulty.  

The former fisheries minister has been charged with taking advantage of his position as regional governor and exploiting the asylum seekers’ vulnerability to sexually abuse them.

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The alleged assaults purportedly took place at his home, hotels and the governor’s office in Tromso in northern Norway between 2011 and 2017.

Mr Ludvigsen, who was first arrested in January, has denied the charges

“The prosecution authorities have charged a former politician with the sexual abuse of three people,” prosecutor Tor Borge Nordmo said at a news conference.

Police reportedly seized mobile phones and computers as part of their investigation.

Mr Borge told Norwegian tabloid VG: “We believe to be able to prove that sexual intercourse has taken place. An assessment has been made of the evidence contained in the investigation material, including witness statements, proof of evidence, documentary evidence, technical evidence and communication."

No date for trial has been set. 

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