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LO feared an attack

Before Ingunn Yssen's resignation ended in VG, the LO management feared attacks from hostile networks.


[media storm] On Monday, January 8, several days before Ingunn Yssen joined VG, Ysen's lawyer Ingeborg Moen Borgerud, on behalf of his client, sent the formal dismissal to LO. There, she briefly announces that Yssen is quitting her job at LO and resigns the assigned place at the Norwegian Defense College this spring. Attached was also a medical certificate for Ysen's absence this fall.

Lawyer Borgerud writes in the dismissal that Yssen will in a few days send a separate letter with the reasons for his dismissal. As is well known, it was also sent to VG, which opened the case on Thursday 11 January. As far as Ny tid is aware, the LO leadership was totally unprepared for the large publicity and media storm that followed and feared that there was a planned and organized attack from "a hostile network" around lawyer Borgerud.

When former secretaries of state Berit Reiss-Andersen and Øystein Mæland appeared shortly afterwards in a coordinated play in VG and Dagens Næringsliv, this confirmed the suspicions in LO's corridors. Both have said in the media that they have not been in "direct contact" with Yssen about the play.

The correspondence between Borgerud's lawyer and LO started in November, after Ingunn Yssen had been on sick leave since the summer party on August 17, at a time when the relationship between Valla and Yssen is described as good. They had then worked together on each floor of the People's House for a total of 14 months, broken up by Ysen's maternity leave and Valla's sick leave notification for broken back. It is only in the letter from Borgerud last fall that LO learns that Yssen feels harassed by the LO leader. How then does the correspondence between LO's and Yssen's lawyer end up in VG?

- We have no comment on that, information manager Jenny Ann Hammerø in LO answers.

Ingeborg Moen Borgerud is a partner in the company Arntzen de Besche, one of Norway's leading law firms in business law, tax law and labor law. Previously, she has been a lawyer in LO's legal department. She also chaired the Labor Law Committee, which LO withdrew in October 2003 in protest. She is one of the country's foremost experts in labor law. In 1996, Borgerud was secretary of state in the Ministry of Justice, where her successor was Berit Reiss-Andersen and barely seven months later, Yssen. Reiss-Andersen and Borgerud are acquainted with several issues, including in the Board of the Court Administration until 2005. The letter published in VG on Wednesday was found in only one copy: With Ingunn Yssen's lawyer Ingeborg Moen Borgerud. Borgerud has not been available for comment.

- A directed campaign

Professor of journalism Sigurd Allern believes that the media, VG in particular, has conducted uncritical witch-hunting and partly directed campaign.

- When VG announced Ingunn Yssen's resignation, it was well directed jointly between Yssen and VG. Other media should be much more critical of the interpretive framework ("poor Yssen, bad Valla") that VG proposed. That so many run so much in droves is startling, says Allern.

He also believes that the proposal from the former state secretaries Berit Reiss-Andersen and Øystein Mæland – who came simultaneously in Dagens Næringsliv and VG – was coordinated. In Dagsnytt 18 this week, VG's editor-in-chief Bernt Olufsen states that the newspaper's coverage has been prepared for several months:

- This was not a case Ingunn Yssen brought to VG that day. We have been working on this case for months, but only when Yssen came with the dismissal could we describe it with open sources, Olufsen said.

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