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CRIME

Norway orders forced psychiatric assessment of Oslo shooting suspect

A Norwegian court on Wednesday decided that a suspect behind a shooting in Oslo that left two dead and 21 wounded would be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation.

Courts have ordered a phycological assessment of the suspect accused of a shooting in Oslo.
A Norwegian court on Wednesday decided that a suspect behind a shooting in Oslo that left two dead and 21 wounded would be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation Pictured: A woman lays down flowers at a makeshift memorial at the crime scene. Photo by Olivier Morin / AFP.

“The court believes that an investigation in an institution is necessary to assess the accused’s state of mind,” the Oslo district court said in its
ruling.

Zaniar Matapour, who was arrested quickly after the shooting started around 1:00 am on June 25 in central Oslo, had not consented to a preliminary psychiatric evaluation, but the court order means experts will now evaluate the state of his mental health.

The 43-year-old is accused of killing two men, aged 54 and 60, and wounding 21 other people when he opened fire near a gay bar in central

Oslo in the early hours of Saturday morning, amid celebrations linked to the city’s Pride festival.

For up to eight weeks, experts will evaluate his mental health, at the Haukeland University Hospital in western Norway, but this time period can also be extended.

In its decision the court noted that the suspect “had previously been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.”

Norway’s domestic intelligence service has previously described the attack as “an act of Islamist terrorism” and said Matapour had “difficulties with his mental health”.

He is being investigated for “terrorist acts”, murder and attempted murder. Matapour, a Norwegian of Iranian origin, had been known to Norway’s PST intelligence service since 2015, with concerns about his radicalisation and membership of “an extremist Islamist network”.

Matapour, who arrived in Norway as a child, is now a father living on social benefits according to Norwegian media. He has been convicted previously for relatively minor offences.

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CRIME

Two more arrested for suspected involvement in Oslo Pride shooting

Norwegian police said Monday they had arrested two alleged accomplices of the suspect in a June shooting that killed two people in Oslo on the sidelines of Pride celebrations.

Two more arrested for suspected involvement in Oslo Pride shooting

The two suspects were arrested on Sunday in Oslo suspected of “complicity in a terrorist act”, the Oslo police said in a statement.

One is a Somali man in his forties, the other a Norwegian in his thirties — both of them known to police. Their identities were not disclosed.

In the early hours of June 25, a man opened fire near a gay bar in central Oslo during celebrations linked to the city’s Pride festival.

The shooting killed two men, aged 54 and 60, and wounded 21 others. Immediately after the shooting, police arrested Zaniar Matapour, a
43-year-old Norwegian of Iranian origin, on suspicion of carrying out the attack.

The new arrests bring the number of people implicated in the attack to four, as Norwegian police announced last week they were seeking another suspect linked to the shooting.

On Friday, Oslo police announced that they had issued an international arrest warrant for Arfan Qadeer Bhatti, a 45-year-old Islamist with a prior conviction, who is also suspected of “complicity in a terrorist act”.

“The police still believes Bhatti is in Pakistan,” a country with which Norway has no extradition agreement, police said Monday.

“To ensure the best possible cooperation with the Pakistani authorities, we had Oslo police officers in Pakistan a short time ago,” it added.

According to police, they have not yet had direct contact with Arfan Bhatti but have spoken to his Norwegian lawyer, Svein Holden, and say they expect the legal proceedings in Pakistan to take time.

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