Woman found dead – Innocent murder suspect for eight months

– It has been a very big burden for him. First, he finds his girlfriend dead outside her home. He does everything right, and notifies the ambulance authorities. When the police arrive at the scene, he is arrested, and then charged with grievous bodily harm resulting in death, says lawyer Aase Sigmond.

It was on 31 October last year that a 33-year-old woman was found dead, outside her home by Holmendammen in Oslo.

Thought it was murder

– He was arrested, and placed in custody at the police station in Greenland, says lawyer Sigmond.

The dead woman, who originally comes from Poland, had injuries that the police first thought the 39-year-old Oslo man had inflicted on her.

The woman was lifeless when he found her. When ambulance personnel arrived at the scene, it was determined that she was dead.

After many hours in custody, the Oslo man was questioned.

– He was released after the interrogations, and was told that the police believed his explanation. Investigators believed that the cause of death was a self-inflicted accident, says Aase Sigmond.

Reminded several times

The charge of grievous bodily harm, resulting in death, was nevertheless upheld. The forensic autopsy also concluded that the injuries to the woman were probably due to a fall.

– We have urged several times to have the charge dropped. It is both stressful and traumatic to be innocently charged with murder, says lawyer Sigmond.

But the forensic commission had several questions, and the forensic pathologists had to re-examine the case.

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After a new assessment of the injuries to the woman, the forensic doctors came to the same conclusion – the woman had fallen, and the injuries she had had been self-inflicted.

Stressful

– The accusation has hung over him. This is something he has been thinking about daily, even though on the same day he was arrested, he was informed by the police that the charges against him would be dropped. Only now, almost eight months after the friend was found dead, is the charge dropped, says lawyer Sigmond.

– It is both unfortunate and stressful to be charged for such a long time, says Sigmond.

The 39-year-old Oslo man will now file a claim for redress against the police, after he was wrongly charged for almost eight months for killing his girlfriend.

Stress

– In connection with his release after the interrogation, the accused and his defense counsel were informed that as the case stood, the basis for suspicion against him had weakened. However, the charge against him for grievous bodily harm was upheld, pending the further investigation and completion of necessary investigations, says police attorney Ida Beate Fengsrud.

She points out that it was a thorough investigation that led to the case being dropped as no criminal offense was proven.

– The police understand that being charged with a serious affair can be a strain, but it is important to have the best possible basis for making a correct prosecution decision in the case, says police attorney Fengsrud to Dagbladet.

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