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Witness in Sigrid case insists he’s innocent

A 29-year-old witness charged on Thursday with giving false testimony has said he regrets going to the police and has nothing to do with the disappearance of 16-year-old Sigrid Giskegjerde Schjetne.

Witness in Sigrid case insists he's innocent
The 29-year-old witness photographed in Oslo on Thursday (Photo: Erland Aas/Scanpix).

The man, who has not been named, was jailed in 2007 for two years and ten months after being found guilty in Bergen of rape and indecent exposure.

He later moved to Oslo and lived close to Giskegjerde Schjetne, who disappeared while walking home from a friend’s house almost a month ago.

“I’m innocent,” the man told newspaper Verdens Gang (VG), adding that he now regretted contacting the police.

“I did it to help the police in a serious case. Now I feel under suspicion and very badly treated.”

”This has been a real strain for me and my girlfriend,” he said.

According to VG, the 29-year-old’s girlfriend has provided him with an alibi, claiming she was with him at all times on the night in question except for one very short period.

In an interview carried out a few days after the disappearance, the man said he had travelled to Sweden the day after the girl disappeared, a claim he now rejects.

”That is not correct and may have been a misunderstanding by the journalists,” he said.

He said he came home from the Tusenfryd amusement park on the afternoon of Sunday, August 5th, to find the police searching through the neighbourhood. He said he grasped that something serious must have happened the night before.

”I read about the case online and followed it. I realized I might have information about a serious case and contacted the police,” he said, adding he had hesitated in doing do because of his criminal record.

He told police he had been sitting on his balcony the night before smoking a cigarette. First, he saw a girl who he thought had probably just got off a metro train. Moments later he heard a piercing scream followed by what he believed was the sound of a car door slamming.

He said he then told his girlfriend what he had heard.

”I told her that it almost sounded like someone being kidnapped or killed,” he told VG.

The teenager was wearing jeans shorts, a blue jumper and a grey singlet when she disappeared. She is 16-years-old, 170 centimetres tall and has light brown hair and blue eyes.

Police have claimed this week to know more about the case than they have revealed, but noted that nobody had yet been formally charged as a suspect.

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Sigrid, 16, was random victim: police

Police believe 16-year-old murder victim Sigrid Giskegjerde Schjetne was likely selected at random by the men charged with killing her.

Sigrid, 16, was random victim: police
Well-wishers left flowers on Monday night at a kindergarten near the victim's home (Photo: Audun Braastad/Scanpix).

Oslo police have not found anything linking the murdered teenager with either of the two men arrested on Monday night at a workshop near where her body was found.

”We are investigating, and have investigated, all of our projects to see if there is a connection but as far we can tell she was a random victim,” said police inspector Hanne Kristin Rohde at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

Police launched a massive search operation after the girl disappeared on her way home from a friend’s house at around midnight on Saturday August 4th.

Her telephone, shoes, and a sock were later found near her home and witnesses reported hearing piercing screams.

Her body was found on Monday evening in a woodland area near a small industrial zone in Kolbotn, a small town 15 kilometres south of Oslo.

Police refused on Wednesday to disclose the cause of the girl’s death.

”It’s too early and could hamper our investigation,” said inspector Rohde.

Both men suspected of murdering Giskegjerde Schjetne deny the charges against them. The suspects, aged 37 and 64, claim they have alibis for the time she is believed to have gone missing.

The inspector said the police are still interested in receiving tips from members of the public.

”We believe we’re on the right track in the case, and have made a breakthrough, but much work remains,” said Rohde.

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