Oslo suspect ‘refusing to have testimony recorded’ as Norway mourns
terror suspect accused of shooting two people in an Oslo gay bar dead ahead of a Pride festival is refusing to have his testimony recorded by investigators.
Two men, aged in their 50s and 60s, were killed and left more than 20 other people injured in the shooting during the LGBTQ Pride festival in Norway’s capital.
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 prior criminal record that included a narcotics offence and a weapons offence for carrying a knife. Investigators said they seized two weapons after Saturday’s shootings: a handgun and an automatic weapon.
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 told Norwegian newspaper VG. “It also means that one should be very careful to speculate on the reasons why this (shooting) happened.”
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 against him, Elden claimed.
“So far, police have insisted on recording the interrogation on audio and video,” Elden told VG. “My client has refused to be taken on audio and video, unless this was to be sent publicly in its entirety.”
Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said in a speech during Sunday’s memorial service 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 also addressed Norway’s Muslim community.
“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 one community and we are responsible for the community together.”