Bribery claim in GNRD 'money-laundering' case

Two anonymously-registered websites – one in English, the other in Arabic – are circulating wild claims about the police investigation into GNRD, the Emirati-funded human rights organisation based in Norway.

The Stavanger headquarters of GNRD (the Global Network for Rights and Development) and the home of its founder-president Loai Deeb were raided by Økokrim (Norway's economic crimes unit) last May on suspicion of money-laundering. The investigation appears to have been triggered by large transfers of money from the UAE through the Norwegian banking system.

GNRD and Deeb deny money-laundering and blame the government of Qatar for the allegations against them. However, a website called Norway Go Right goes further and accuses the prosecutor in the case of receiving millions of dollars in bribes:

"Sources say that the Norwegian prosecutor Havard Kampen had received bribes in millions of dollars in order to crack down on the network [GNRD] and to fabricate accusations against the NGO."

The website does not identify its sources and provides no evidence to suggest that the bribery claim is worth taking seriously.

Norway Go Right was registered anonymously on July 18 in the American state of Utah. Its bribery claim is copied from an article posted on Twitt-Book, an Arabic-language website which attributes the story to an unnamed "reliable source". Twitt-Book was registered anonymously in the US in February 2014 and, judging by its other content, it seems to have connections with secular elements in the Syrian opposition.

further item, added to the Norway Go Right website on Wednesday, extends the bribery claim to include multiple (but unnamed) Norwegian officials and increases the amount of money from millions of dollars to "tens of millions" – supposedly paid through "Qatari intelligence officers". As before, it provides no evidence to support these allegations. 

It goes on to say:

"Sources confirm that much of the intelligence services in Europe have refused to cooperate with Norway in the destruction of GNRD, and advised the Norwegian intelligence not to get involved with Qatar in the attacks." 

The headline suggests the Norwegian government is "in danger of falling apart" as a result of the GNRD affair.

This, again, is based on an Arabic article on the Twitt-Book website. Twitt-Book's version also seeks to implicate Azmi Bishara, a Palestinian politician now living in Qatar, in the attacks on GNRD.

Meanwhile, GNRD itself has issued a nine-minute promotional video under the title "Glorious Achievement of GNRD".

Posted by Brian Whitaker
Friday, 4 September 2015