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View Full Version : Norwegian burns S&S, faces fine or jail


Dagobahn Eagle
05-06-2003, 10:45 PM
Charged with flag-burning
Oslo police have pressed charges against Otto Jespersen and Kåre Valebrokk after the flag burning in the show "Torsdagsklubben" (the "Thursday Club" -Eagle). - I don't accept a fine. Then I'll rather go to court, Valebrokk says.

Published: 06. may 2003, 12:42

- Both are charged with violation of § 95, which is concerned with deregatory actions towards another state's flag. The case will be sent from the police to Oslo State Lawyer Assosiation one of the folloing days, says police lawyer Harald Bilberg, Oslo police district.

The police's stance has not yet been published, but from what [we] know, the police recommends punishment by fine.

Punishment for this violation vary from fines to jailtime up to a year.

The leader of TV2 (the channel that hosts the show -Eagle), Valebrokk, has the following comment to the charges:

- Det er trist at påtalemyndigheten og TV 2 må kaste vekk tid og penger på en sånn ubetydelig sak. Dette er ikke en sak å belaste rettsvesenet med.

- Does this mean you will accept the fine?

- No, I'll refuse for as long as I can, on principles. I hope a court of law won't be necessary, but if I have to, I have to, the leader of TV says.

Ole Morken in Otto Jespersen's management Stageway tell [us] that Jespersen is away and unwilling to comment.

- I reckon he has begun packing for jail, Morken jokes.

Surprised lawyer
TV 2s lawyer Theo Jordal says he is surprised over the charges.

- Yes, we are, in the light of the program's character and freedom of speech.[/b] I have a hope that the DA will look at the case differently.

If it comes to a court of law, the lawyer says the case has important principles.

- In our opinion, freedom of speech and human rights should have priority over an old law that's only been used twice before, Jordal says.

[b]§95 has been used twice before: Two men were sentenced to a $2 fine in 1933 for cutting out a swastika flag. In 1993 a demonstrator was charged with burning a flag, as well as kicking a police officer in the crotch. Ten years later Jespersen might be the third to be punished under this law.

"Accident"
It was in his TV-show the 13. of february that Otto Jespersen "accidentally" put USA's flag on fire during his finishing appeal on the Iraqi war.

Reverend Finn Henrik Larsen reported the burning of the flag to Oslo police.

Pål Andreas Mæland
Marit Holm
Ken Rossland
Translation: D. Eagle
Source (http://www.bt.no/innenriks/article155665)

Some background information: Jespersen is the host of the controversial show "Thursday Club" that runs on the private Norwegian channel TV2. He has previously taken flak for being out of line in other "touchy" subjects. -Eagle.

- - - - - -

Personally, I say we send him to jail. What are your (especially the Americans)' reaction to this? True, we have freedom of speech, but this is a violation of a law and should be punished. Even if he indeed did have the right to do this, it doesn't make flag-burning right. So I say put him behind bars.

Arán
05-07-2003, 08:10 AM
I think thats teribble because I live in the neybour land Sweden:mad: Thats a disgrace!

Breton
05-07-2003, 11:38 AM
I guess I am the only one here who actually saw that program where he "accidentily" burned that flag.

Firstly, I would like to say that OJ (Otto Jespersen) isn't really the host of the show, he is only one of the three firm members of the show.

And now to the real thing: OJ is a comedian. A damn good one too. I would easily say that he's one of Norways most funny men. Anyway, at the end of Torsdagsklubben, he usually holds an ending appeal, where he usually makes fun of someone. It's just a "kåseri" (don't know what that is in English) and it's not to be taken serious. Unfortunatly, some people does take it serious. For instance, when he suggested that all good forces should join together and buy Christer Petterson a trip to Oslo, then it is simply dumb to think that he actually wants Bondevik (the Norwegian prime minister) dead, right? OJ is king of sarcasm.

And now, I will give you a larger explanation of the ending appeal where the flag got burned. OJ started speaking warmly about USA and of the war with the S&S hanging down right behind him. And at the end, he ligths a candle for America and puts it just below the flag. And the flag "accidentily" tips down, so that it takes fire.

Here is the entire ending appeal, though I haven't translated it:

-----------------------------------------------------------------
De siste ukene har vært utrolig tøffe, ikke minst for meg. Det har vært et vedvarende mas fra diverse fredsaktivister om at jeg skal kaste glans over deres arrangementer.

Jeg har selvfølgelig sagt nei til alle sammen. Det har ført til at mange spør seg: Hvor står Otto Jespersen i denne konflikten? Bryr han seg ikke? Er han bare opptatt av å velte seg i egne penger og suksess? Nei, jeg er ikke det.

For å gjøre det helt klart: Jeg er for krig. Da mener jeg ikke at jeg er for litt småknuffing på grensa til Irak. Da mener jeg et vedvarende blodbad, der vi pumper inn verdens samlede arsenal av eksplosiver så vi gruslegger ørkenstaten en gang for alle. Det er vel ikke bare jeg som gleder meg til å se panikkslagne irakere løpe skrikende rundt i Bagdads gater som rykende, tobeinte kebaber! Og vi gir oss ikke før Bagdad ser ut som et meteorkrater.




Vi trenger en krig, og vi trenger den nå. Vi kan vel alle være enige om at det er på tide at det norske forsvarets geværer igjen blir brukt til noe mer enn å ta livet av soldatenes nærmeste familie. Altfor lenge har konfliktsky feiginger som Petter Nome fått lov å hjernevaske oss med sitt ynkelige "nei til krig", jeg hører han ennå, "Arabere er mennesker de også!" Og hva har det med saken å gjøre?

Det er en skam at vi må helt tilbake til vikingtiden for å finne nordmenn som greide å opprettholde et visst trøkk internasjonalt. Det er på høy tid at vi sluttfører den jobben Sigurd Jorsalfar påbegynte for 1000 år siden. Og hvorfor skal vi vente på at de fordrukne surrehuene i FN? Jeg syns vi skal gi USA en hyggelig overraskelse - hvis Norge angriper Irak til helgen, så kommer resten av verden til å henge seg på til uka! Det handler bare om å få ut fingeren og kaste den første klasebomba! Så får heller de skuddredde araberelskerne Petter Nome og Kjell Bækkelund sitte der med fioler i rompesprekken, når vi kommer hjem med araberskalper i beltet og kruttslam i munnviken.

Nå vet jeg at dere sitter der hjemme og tenker: Nå driver Otto og maler seg inn i et hjørne igjen. Nei da, vi er flere reflekterte kulturpersonligheter som mener at Norge nå bør gi krigen en sjanse. Personlig har jeg stilt meg i spissen for oppropet "Skøyere for krig". Foreløpig er det meg, Arve Opsahl, Mini Jacobsen og store deler av Dizzie Tunes. Dessuten har vi med Dorthe Skappel som mulig selvmordsaksjonist.

Og vi kommer ikke til å ligge på latsiden. Allerede på lørdag skal vi legge oss nakne i snøen utenfor Marienlyst og skrive "No Petter" med de stivfrosne kroppene våre. Og det som er fordelen med Mini Jacobsen, er at han er så velutrustet nedentil, at han trenger bare gjøre sånn med armene (viser med armene), så danner han han danne bokstaven "P" helt alene.

Da foreslår jeg at vi reiser oss alle sammen, også dere der hjemme, for nå skal vi ha en enkel seremoni for å vise at vi står hundre prosent bak Amerika i denne vanskelige tiden.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Of course, it's 100 times better when performed, but you still get the idea of what he actually said.

FunClown
05-07-2003, 11:39 AM
This case sounds like a huge grey area. On the one hand you have an old law still in force that states you can't burn another nations flag.

On the other hand you have freedom of speech and other rights.

Will probably depend on the lawyer and the case they make.

However, I am bias because I have on occasion worn slippers in public. That is an arrestable offence where I live. It is a law that has been in existence since the late 1800's and still in force but not enforced if you catch my drift.

C'jais
05-07-2003, 12:34 PM
Originally posted by Dagobahn Eagle
Personally, I say we send him to jail. What are your (especially the Americans)' reaction to this? True, we have freedom of speech, but this is a violation of a law and should be punished.

An old used only once before (the Swastika doesn't really count, does it?).

Sodomy is illegal in certain States in the US. A couple was recently arrested for living together without being married. Fair law? No.

Even if he indeed did have the right to do this, it doesn't make flag-burning right. So I say put him behind bars.

Thanks to Breton, you and I are able to make an informed opinion on this now. It appears he did not intentionally set the flag on fire. Even if he did, it's one strange sense of humour you guys have, if you find it funny to set a flag on fire, after publically saluting the nation for which it stands. It appears Otto supported USA and the war, yet he sat the flag on fire? I think we're talking about an accident here.

Breton
05-07-2003, 01:25 PM
Originally posted by C'jais

It appears Otto supported USA and the war, yet he sat the flag on fire?

Not really (http://www.capcollege.bc.ca/dept/cmns/irony.html)

I think we're talking about an accident here.

Well, it was an "accident", yet it wasn't an accident.


I think you misunderstood me slightly. I mean that the flag burning was never anything serious or anti-American, it was part of a humourous ending. It was never like he poured gasoline on it and lighted it while he danced around it screaming "USA sucks". Never anything like it.

C'jais
05-07-2003, 05:50 PM
Originally posted by Breton
Not really (http://www.capcollege.bc.ca/dept/cmns/irony.html)

Hehe, well I had considered the irony in doing so, but I as said, I thought that would make the humour twisted and far too Norwegian for most people...

Well, it was an "accident", yet it wasn't an accident.


I think you misunderstood me slightly. I mean that the flag burning was never anything serious or anti-American, it was part of a humourous ending. It was never like he poured gasoline on it and lighted it while he danced around it screaming "USA sucks". Never anything like it.

Ok, so he did set it on fire intentionally?

That changes the whole dilemma.

Still, going to jail for such an act is over the top, and clinging to a silly law most likely not obeyed anyway. Shame it happened on tv, though.

Breton
05-07-2003, 07:49 PM
Originally posted by C'jais


Ok, so he did set it on fire intentionally?

That changes the whole dilemma.



But if there is a play wich shows a flag accidentily get burned, then that wouldn't matter anything, would it? Even though it was always the point in the play that the flag should accidentily get burned.

I would also like to add a quote, wich better shows the ending of the show:

Jespersen's closing rant, which has become the high point of the program, ended on Thursday with a pro-war tirade. Jespersen then said: "I would like to light a candle for a long and bloody war, and may this flame inspire the USA to turn Baghdad into the world's biggest crematorium."

Turning to see that an American flag behind him had caught fire, Jespersen said: "Sorry, sorry, that was a mistake, that wasn't supposed to happen. See you in Baghdad - Let's kick some ass!"

Dagobahn Eagle
05-07-2003, 09:18 PM
Um, Breton, you do realize that quoting without translating is pointless because 99% of the people in the world do not know Scandinavian. At least make a summary in English or something?;)

To clarify:
http://www.bt.no/forbruker/tv/article155691
- As long as my fingers can light a match, I'll make tiny American flags of cigarette paper which I'll put on fire on display to my co-prisoners,
-Ending appeal to the Thursday club 8th of April.

- I'm ready for my punishment, although Kåre Valebrokk (head of TV2) was the one who asked me to burn the damned flag.
-When asked to comment on the upcoming trial.

- If they think they can bring me to silence, they are stupid. They will now have to live in fear for the rest of their lives. I will recommend that they install fire alarms in all the bodies' empty spaces [i](I don't know what he means with that either -Eagle)

I'm glad Axel and most Norsemen are with me. Regardless of your intent, burning a flag is not funny. And the speech "for" war smells strongly of sarcasm:
To make it clear: I promote a war. And then I don't mean some bullying at the Iraqi border, but a lasting blood bath, where we pump the gathered arsenal of explosives into the Iraqs and lay the desert states to ashes once and for all. I'm looking forward to seeing panic-stricken Iraqis run screaming about in Baghdad's streets like smoking to-legged kebabs! And we won't stop before Bagdad looks like the crater of a meteorite impact.Sounds to fanatical and cold to be a real statement.

Oh, and the Norwegian law, by the way, is slightly different than the American one in that there is no "superior" constitution that overrides all other laws. The Constitution has been integrated into our regular laws (§100 being the law that grants us freedom of assembly, for instance). So yes, a law that bans flag-burning can perfectly well override freedom of speech.

Still, going to jail for such an act is over the top
Well, he's going to jail not for burning the flag, but for refusing to pay the fine associated with burning the flag.

You can also go to jail for speeding, if you refuse to pay enough tickets, right? Same thing.

C'jais
05-07-2003, 09:46 PM
Originally posted by Dagobahn Eagle
Well, he's going to jail not for burning the flag, but for refusing to pay the fine associated with burning the flag.

You can also go to jail for speeding, if you refuse to pay enough tickets, right? Same thing.

Yup, good point. Can't believe I skipped past that.

ShadowTemplar
05-08-2003, 11:52 AM
Flags are touchy because they are a symbol of sovereignty enforced.

There are therefore a number of (more and less silly) rules associated with flags. It is, for example illegal to let the Danish flag touch the ground (though for the life of me I can't see how it could be enforced). Fairly silly rule. At the other end of the scale is the demand that no foreign flag is ever higher in a pole than the Danish (in Denmark, that is). Reasonable enough.

I don't have a problem with flag-burning, but if there's a law against it, then I don't really see a reason to change that law either.