Saturday, May 25, 2024

Matapour had terrorist intent – must still be acquitted

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Zaniar Matapour had great execution ability and terrorist intent when he got off the tram outside the courthouse and picked up two weapons, admitted the defender, lawyer Marius Dietrichson. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB / POOL

Of NTB | 15.05.2024 15:00:02

War and conflicts: The oath of allegiance to IS, the recording of it and the forwarding to what was supposed to be an IS leader, is evidence that the defendant Zaniar Matapour (44) had terrorist intent, confirms lawyer Marius Dietrichson to NTB.

He nevertheless submitted a claim that Matapour must be acquitted of the mass shooting in the center of Oslo on the night of 25 June almost two years ago – in whole or in part – when he concluded his proceedings in the Oslo district court.

– Acquittal must take place for the part of the criminal relationship that was provoked by the authorities – whether it is the whole deed or the part that deals with terror and terrorist intent, said Dietrichson when he held his proceedings before the Oslo District Court on Wednesday.

If the terrorist aspect is taken out of the equation, you are left with two murders and nine attempted murders and a maximum sentence of 21 years in prison. If the court finds Matapour guilty of aggravated terrorism, the penalty is increased to 30 years in prison.

When the court was adjourned, Dietrichson said that he believes Matapour was criminally insane and therefore cannot be punished anyway, according to Television 2. In the proceedings, he contented himself with discussing the arguments for and against sanity and left it to the court to conclude on the question.

– It is the Intelligence Service that arranges for the accused to make contact, and when they do so, they get a motive, goal and meaning, said Dietrichson, referring to the fact that the agent was to infiltrate an Islamist milieu to obtain information about Norwegian foreign fighters when he arrived in contact with the Norwegian woman.

Provocation is not always illegal for the police and the Norwegian Intelligence Service. It is, for example, legal for an agent to infiltrate criminal circles, commit crimes himself and approve the criminal acts of others in order to gain credibility. But the provocation becomes illegal when it triggers an act that would not otherwise have been committed.

– The agent may have triggered the attack with his thoughtless activity, which is completely devoid of control, by asking for an oath of allegiance. When you ask for loyalty from a terrorist milieu that will commit terror in Norway, that is what may have triggered the attack, said Dietrichson.

– It is not possible to draw any definite conclusions about the planning on Matapour’s part and what he wanted. Is it the case that he got involved right on the eve of the planning, perhaps the same day or the day before, Dietrichson asked when he proceeded.

He pointed out that there have been several others allegedly involved in the case – such as Bhatti and the woman who was in contact with the E-service’s agent. Matapour’s actions and movements in the weeks and days before the mass shooting were in line with his ordinary way of life, and it was only just before the attack that he became involved in other people’s terrorist plans, the defender believes.

When, shortly after swearing allegiance to IS, Matapour got into a taxi and headed towards the city centre, he was also not purposeful and seemed unsure of where he was going, according to the defender. It was all “a bit over the top” before Matapour ended up outside the courthouse, he maintained.

In stark contrast to the prosecution, the defense believes that the other evidence in the case should not necessarily be understood as supporting terrorist intent – rather, on the contrary, they predominantly express Matapour’s personality: He is highly paranoid and suspicious – and also very fond of the outdoors and walking, stated the defender.

That might explain why he bought hiking clothes, a large number of phones and the bag he used to carry the weapons downtown.

– The defendant has not explained himself, either to us, the court or the police. What considerations he has made are not subject to observation. What he has in mind is not subject to observation, said Dietrichson.

Dietrichson claimed with strength and apparently great conviction that the attack outside Per på Hjørnet and the London Pub occurred as a result of illegal provocation by the Norwegian authorities. The intelligence service’s secret agent may even have triggered the attack itself by asking that an oath of allegiance be taken beforehand so that IS could take responsibility, Dietrichson said.

The defender was also concerned that Matapour’s involvement apparently came very late in the planning process. The oath of allegiance was taken just under an hour before the mass shooting in the center of Oslo on the night of 25 June 2022. And there is information in the case that indicates that he switched on late to carry out an action that had been planned for a while, according to the defender.

Dietrichson pointed out that there are few or no-one apart from Matapour himself who can shed light on what his intention was when he shot and killed two people and injured a further nine at and outside Per på Hjørnet and London Pub.

(© NTB)

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