World News

Gunman Gets ‘Historically Severe’ Sentence in Oslo Shooting

An Iranian-born Norwegian man was found guilty of terrorism on Thursday in a 2022 attack on an LGBTQ+ festival in Oslo and sentenced to 30 years in prison. Two people were killed and nine were seriously wounded in the shooting at three locations, chiefly outside the London Pub, a popular gay bar, on June 25, 2022. The Oslo District Court said Zaniar Matapour shot 10 rounds with a machine gun and eight shots with a handgun into the crowd, per the AP. It said Matapour had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State group and “has been radicalized for several years.” His 30-year sentence was the highest penalty in Norway since terror legislation was changed in 2015. Matapour can request parole after 20 years but can only be released if he’s deemed no longer dangerous.

Prosecutor Aud Kinsarvik Gravas called it “the right outcome” and “a historically severe punishment.” Matapour’s lawyer, Marius Dietrichson, said it was “a severe punishment” and that they haven’t yet decided whether to appeal. Espen Evjenth, who was hit by a bullet in the forehead at the London Pub, told the Norwegian news agency NTB that it was “a great relief.” Extensive video material of the attack had been presented in court. The verdict wasn’t read in court but sent out electronically. Matapour would have the verdict read to him in prison, the court said.

Matapour was overpowered by bystanders after the attack and arrested. Following the attack, a Pride parade was canceled, with police saying they couldn’t guarantee security. Matapour had pleaded innocent. He was examined by a court-appointed psychiatrist who concluded that he was sane at the time of the attack. During the trial, both the prosecution and the defense agreed that Matapour fired into the crowd and there was no disagreement that the shooting was terror-motivated. However, Dietrichson had sought acquittal, saying his client had been provoked to carry out the attack by an E-Tjenesten agent who was pretending to be a high-ranking ISIS member.

story continues below

The trial started in March and ended May 16. Four others are suspected of complicity in the case, but none has been formally charged. The shooting shocked Norway, which has a relatively low crime rate but has experienced a series of “lone wolf” attacks by individuals in recent decades, including one of the worst mass shootings in Europe. In 2011, a right-wing extremist killed 69 people on the island of Utoya after setting off a bomb in Oslo that left eight dead. (More Norway stories.)

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button