Suspect in Norway Pride Month assault would possibly not communicate to police, lawyer says

Originally posted 2022-06-27 03:43:35.

OSLO, Norway — Norway’s high minister and individuals of the royal circle of relatives joined mourners at a memorial carrier Sunday at Oslo Cathedral for the sufferers of a taking pictures assault because the capital held its annual LGBTQ Pride pageant.

A gunman opened fireplace in central Oslo’s nightlife district early Saturday, killing two folks — a person in his 50s and some other in his 60s — and wounding greater than 20 others in what the Norwegian security service called an “Islamist terror act.”

A suspect, known as a 42-year-old Norwegian citizen in the beginning from Iran, was once being hung on suspicion of homicide, tried homicide and terrorism. His lawyer mentioned he’s refuting to speak to police.

The capital’s Pride parade was once scheduled to happen Saturday however was once canceled.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre at a carrier in Oslo Cathedral on Sunday, an afternoon after a taking pictures out of doors pubs and nightclubs in central Oslo killed two folks and injured greater than 20 others.Javad Parsa/AFP – Getty Images

The crime scene integrated the London Pub, a bar this is well-liked by the town’s LGBTQ neighborhood. Police investigators mentioned it was once unclear whether or not hatred of folks in accordance with sexual orientation and gender identification motivated the assault.Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre mentioned at Sunday’s memorial carrier that “the shooting in the night hours put an end to the Pride parade, but it did not stop the fight and the efforts to fight discrimination, prejudice and hatred.”

He additionally addressed Norway’s Muslim neighborhood.

“I know how many of you felt when it turned out that the perpetrator belonged to the Islamic community. Many of you experienced fear and unrest. You should know this: We stand together, we are a community, and we are responsible for the community together,” Gahr Støre said at the church service, which Crown Princess Mette-Marit also attended.

Norwegian media have identified the suspect as Oslo resident Zaniar Matapour, who arrived in Norway with his family from a Kurdish part of Iran in the 1990s.

Matapour had a criminal record that included a narcotics offense and a weapons offense for carrying a knife. Investigators said they seized two weapons after Saturday’s shootings: a handgun and an automatic weapon.

The Norwegian domestic security agency, known by its Norwegian initialism, PST, said Saturday that it first became aware of the suspect in 2015 and later grew concerned that he had become radicalized and was part of an unspecified Islamist network.

Norwegian media outlets reported Sunday that Matapour was alleged to have been in close contact with an Islamic extremist living in Norway whom the Norwegian police had been aware of for a long time.

The extremist, identified as Arfan Bhatti, was known partly for his strong anti-gay views, Norwegian public broadcaster NRK said.

Matapour was being held on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and terrorism, based on the number of people targeted at multiple locations.

His defense lawyer, John Christian Elden, who previously represented Bhatti, said his client has not given any explanation for his actions.

“It is very unclear if there is any motive,” Elden advised Norwegian newspaper VG. “It additionally signifies that one will have to be very cautious to invest at the explanation why this took place.”

Matapour’s questioning by police was cut short Sunday after he refused to have his statement recorded and videotaped, which is standard police practice. He fears police would edit the recordings and manipulate his words d by police against him, Elden said.

“So far, police have insisted on recording the interrogation on audio and video,” Elden advised VG. “My client has refused to be taken on audio and video, unless this was to be sent publicly in its entirety.”

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