It took quite exactly seven months from the time Birgitte Tengs was killed until the police conducted the first interrogation with the man who now – more than 26 years later – is charged with murder.
The interrogation took place on 4 December 1995 at Avaldsnes sheriff’s office. It emerges early on that he did not know Tengs, and that, as far as he knew, he had never met her before.
The man, who is now in his 50s, is from Haugalandet. In the interrogation, the accused says that he is “very little known in the area Sund / Skår”, which is the area where Tengs comes from, and which is where she was killed.
However, the man says that he worked in a town not so far from Kopervik a few years earlier.
At this time he did not have a driver’s license for a car, so the man used his moped back and forth. During the interrogation, the accused explained that he used to drive around the road to the airport to get to work.
However, the fastest route is to drive around Sundvegen. The accused’s alternative is a detour several kilometers long.
When the police conducted a new interrogation of the accused, just over a year later, the man repeated that he was not known in the area.
At the same time, he added in this interrogation that he was aware that this was a long detour. Still, he preferred to drive it because he thought it was not so slippery, and because he knew this road better.
TV 2 has asked police lawyer Fredrik Martin Soma about how the police assess the credibility of the almost 26-year-old explanation, which has again been updated.
– The accused’s local knowledge is important for the police to investigate further. We are continuing to work on this. I do not want to go in and say anything about whether we attach a little to what he has said or not. It is part of what he has explained in police interrogations, and we do not agree with that at this time, but we continue to work with the information he has given the police, he says.
– Blank lie
A friend of the accused, who appeared in the TV 2 documentary series “Who killed Birgitte?”, Said the following anonymously in the series:
– If he got out of the interrogations because he did not know where Sundvegen was, then they have not done a good enough job. I know 110 percent for sure that this is a blatant lie.
– He knew all the roads on Karmøy, he adds.
The comrade also says that he has never suspected that the comrade may have something to do with the murder of Birgitte Tengs.
TV 2 has not succeeded in getting a comment from the man.
The police, who are now investigating the case, are open about the fact that it presents challenges to investigate such an old case.
– We focus on getting these cases informed in the best possible way, even though the cases are very old, Soma says.
Will not answer about DNA
The man in his 50s was arrested last week and charged with the murder of Birgitte Tengs on the basis of a DNA finding.
With this, the police link him to the crime scene, but they have not wanted to answer whether they have more clues than the one proof that Tengs and the accused have been in contact with each other.
Police attorney Soma has also not wanted to answer whether they believe that the DNA finding alone will hold up an indictment.
The accused man is also suspected of the murder of Tina Jørgensen. He maintains that he denies any involvement in both cases, his defender Stian Kristensen states.
– Has his knowledge of the area where Birgitte Tengs was killed been the subject of interrogation?
– I am barred from commenting on the topics we have discussed in the interrogation. So I can not say anything about that at the moment.
– He has denied having met Birgitte Tengs. Has it changed now?
– Then the answer will be the same: I can not go into those topics.