Kato Hansen: 'Berberes did not mention Cyprus!'

by Oliver Rau 203 views

Kato M. Hansen, president of the Norwegian Eurovision fan club OGAE, was mentioned as a source in the Dagbladet article about allegations of vote-swapping at the Eurovision Song Contest 2002 in Tallinn. Kato told us that there was an “unfortunate misunderstanding by the Norwegian journalist” and gave us the following statement.

Kato Hansen explains: “I was present at the French club meeting in Paris in April. There, Mr. Bruno Berberes, France's head of delegation for 2002 and 2003, addressed the around 80 people present and told about the vote rigging that was attempted by some countries in Tallinn last year. He said that he had refused to take part in this 'exchange', and that the French song subsequently received none or very low scores from the countries in question. However, Mr. Berberes did not mention any particular country.”

He continues: “After the article in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet last Sunday, I was contacted by the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet. They wanted to run the story, and asked me whether I, as one of the few Norwegians present in Tallinn last year, knew anything about this alleged cheating. I told the journalist about the information given at the French meeting (see above), and about the seven countries which, already last year, had been the subject of suspition (in alphabetical order: Cyprus, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Malta, Romania and Russia). This suspition had aroused immediately after the ESC in Tallinn due to obvious anomalies in these countries' voting.

During the telephone conversation, and as a source for comparison, I told the journalist how many points France (which came 5th in the ESC 2002), had received last year from the seven countries in question: 0 from Cyprus, 0 from Croatia, 3 from Greece, 0 from Macedonia, 0 from Malta, 4 from Romania, and 0 from Russia, a total of only 7 points. Unfortunately, in his article the next day, the journalist mentioned only the first country on the list, Cyprus, probably due to lack of space. He also presented the information as a quotation of Mr. Berberes, which it was not.”

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