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Norway prosecutor requests maximum sentence for Olso Pride shooter

By AFP

May 14, 2024 10:08 PM


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Norway's public prosecutor on Tuesday asked that the maximum penalty of potentially life behind bars be handed down to the alleged perpetrator of the fatal shooting at Oslo's 2022 Pride festival.

Zaniar Matapour, a 44-year-old Norwegian of Iranian origin, has been on trial since mid-March and is accused of an "aggravated act of terror".

Matapour is accused of opening fire outside two bars in central Oslo, including the gay club London Pub, on the night of June 25, just hours before the Oslo Pride Parade was to be held.

Two men, aged 54 and 60, were killed and nine others were wounded.

"There is no reason as to why the maximum sentence cannot be used in a case like this," prosecutor Aud Kinsarvik Gravas said.

The maximum sentence is 30 years but can be extended indefinitely.

"He has shown no remorse or reflection. We have seen no change in him" over the last two years, Kinsarvik Gravas said.

Matapour, who was restrained by passersby after the shooting, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and has never revealed his motives. He pleaded not guilty.

Psychiatric experts have been divided over his mental health, and thereby his legal responsibility, but the public prosecutor deemed him criminally responsible at the time of the events and that he deliberately targeted the gay community.

The sentence sought against him, which includes a minimum of 20 years, would in practice keep him in detention for as long as he is deemed a danger to society.

The alleged mastermind behind the attack, Arfan Bhatti, a 46-year-old Islamist well-known in Norway, was extradited on May 3 from Pakistan, where he had taken up residence before the shooting.

He will be tried at a later date.

The final part of the trial, due to last until Thursday, will be devoted to the defence case.

A verdict is not expected for several weeks.


AFP


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