Suspect in Oslo shooting ‘refuses to explain police actions’

A suspect in a mass shooting during an LGBTQ festival in Norway has refused to explain his actions to investigators and will remain in custody for the next four weeks, police and his lawyer said.

The man, described by authorities as a 42-year-old Norwegian citizen originally from Iran, was arrested shortly after the shooting in Oslo’s nightlife district early Saturday morning.

He was detained on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and terrorism.

Two people were killed and more than 20 were injured in what the Norwegian security service called an “Islamic terrorist attack.”

Oslo police said they unsuccessfully tried to question the suspect on Saturday and Sunday. The Norwegian media identified him as Zaniar Matapur.


Jonas Gar’s shop speaks during service (Javad Parsa/NTB via AP/PA)

His lawyer, John Christian Elden, told The Associated Press via email that his client refused to record and videotape his statement unless the police released the entire footage “without delay, lest it be censored or manipulated.”

Mr Elden said his client had previously denied shooting, but did not divulge any motive.

The lawyer said Sunday that Matapur has no objection to being held for four weeks and will not appear in court on Monday.

In Norway, remand hearings are usually held every four weeks.

Norway’s prime minister and members of the royal family joined the mourners for Sunday’s memorial service at Oslo Cathedral for the victims of the attack.

The gunman opened fire at three locations, including outside a London pub, a popular gay bar in Oslo. Police investigators said it was too early to tell if the attacker specifically targeted the LGBT community.

A pride parade scheduled for Saturday was canceled due to the shooting.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said during Sunday’s memorial service that “the night-time shooting put an end to the pride parade, but did not stop the struggle and efforts to combat discrimination, prejudice and hatred.”

He also addressed the Muslim community in Norway.


Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway after service (Javad Parsa/NTB via AP/PA)

“I know how many of you felt when it turned out that the perpetrator belongs to the Islamic community. Many of you have experienced fear and anxiety.

“You should know this: we stand together, we are one community, and together we are responsible for the community,” Mr Stoer said during the church service, which was also attended by Crown Princess Mette-Marit.

Norwegian media reported that Matapur arrived in Norway with his family from the Kurdish part of Iran in the 1990s.

He had previous convictions, including drug offenses and gun offenses, for carrying a knife. Investigators said they seized two types of weapons after Saturday’s shooting, a pistol and a submachine gun.

The Norwegian Internal Security Agency, known by its Norwegian acronym PST, said on Saturday that it first became aware of the suspect in 2015 and later feared he had gone radical and was part of an unidentified Islamist network.

On Sunday, Norwegian media reported that Matapur was allegedly in close contact with an Islamic extremist living in Norway, whom the Norwegian police had known about for a long time.