Norway: Pride Month attack suspect won’t talk to police

OSLO, Norway –

Police and defense attorneys say the suspect in a mass shooting at an LGBTQ festival in Norway has refused to explain his actions to investigators and will be held in pre-trial detention for four days. next week.

The man, whom authorities describe as a 42-year-old Norwegian citizen of Iranian descent, was arrested shortly after the shooting in Oslo’s nightlife district early Saturday. He is being held on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and terrorism.

Two people were killed and more than 20 injured in what Norwegian security services called “a terrorist act of Islamism”.

Oslo police said they tried to question the suspect on Saturday and again on Sunday but were unsuccessful. Norwegian media identified him as Zaniar Matapour.

Matapour’s defense attorney, John Christian Elden, told the Associated Press via email that his client refused to audio and videotape his statement unless police release the full recording “without time delay.” so that it can’t be censored or manipulated”.

Recording interrogations is a standard practice of the police,

Elden said his client had not previously denied being the shooter, but did not reveal any motive. Lawyers said Sunday that Matapour has no objection to being detained for four weeks and will not appear in court on Monday.

In Norway, pretrial detention hearings are usually held every four weeks.

Norway’s prime minister and members of the royal family take part in Sunday’s memorial service at Oslo Cathedral for the victims of the attack.

The gunman opened fire at three locations, including outside the London Pub, a popular gay bar in Oslo. Police investigating said it was too early to say whether the attacker was specifically targeting the LGBTQ community.

A Pride parade scheduled for Saturday was postponed because of the shooting.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said at Sunday’s memorial service that “the shooting of the night ended the Pride parade, but it did not stop the fight and efforts against discrimination, prejudice and hatred.”

He also spoke to Norway’s Muslim community.

“I know how many of you have felt when you learned that the perpetrators were from the Muslim community. Many of you have experienced fear and uncertainty. You should know this: We together, we are a community and we have a responsibility to the community,” said Stoere at the church service, also attended by Princess Mette-Marit.

Norwegian media reported that Matapour came to Norway with his family from a Kurdish part of Iran in the 1990s.

He had a criminal record that included drug charges and weapons charges for carrying a knife. Investigators said they seized two weapons after Saturday’s shooting: a shotgun and an automatic weapon.

Norway’s domestic security agency, known by its initials Norwegian PST, said on Saturday that it first learned of the suspect in 2015 and was later concerned that he had become extremist. sect and is part of an unspecified Muslim network.

On Sunday, Norwegian media reported that Matapour was accused of having close ties to a Norwegian Muslim extremist who Norwegian police have known for a long time.


Tanner reported from Helsinki.

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