Mafia defendants believe they were tricked by the police
With the use of phony agents, the police provoked criminal acts in the so-called mafia case, claim the lawyers of several of the defendants.
None of the 13 defendants, among them Nokas-sentenced Metkel Betew, acknowledged culpability when the trial started in Oslo district court on Wednesday.
Drug smuggling, attempted murder and plans to rob a value transport at Gardermoen are among the ingredients in the case. Twelve of the men are charged according the so-called mafia paragraph regarding organized criminal activities.
The case was revealed after a prolonged surveillance of Betew and several of the other defendants. Additionally three Danish policemen pretended to belong to the Russian mafia. Among other things, they assisted in transporting 20 kilograms MDMA, 38 kg cannabis and 12 kilograms marijuana from the Netherlands to Oslo in the summer of 2015.
– We believe the police have gone far beyond what is acceptable and caused a criminal offense that would otherwise not have taken place, said lawyer Morten Furuholmen, who defends a 30-year-old from Horten, to NTB.
Also several of the other defense lawyers claimed in court that their clients were provoked to commit crimes.
The prosecution rejects this.
– Provocation is a legal method, which has been applied lawfully, says Alvar Randa to NTB.
Metkel Betew is central to all of the most serious points in the indictment. The prosecutor has announced that they will ask for 18 years of protected custody. Together with Bandidos’ top Lars Harnes, Betew is accused of planning to murder Imran Saber, also known as “Uncle Scrooge”.
Harnes was arrested July 21, 2015 in Saber’s garage at Sinsen in Oslo, covered by nylon stockings on the whole body, Balaclava and a carrying a gun equipped with a silencer. In court, he only acknowledged culpability for being in in possesion of firearms without a permit and for driving a stolen scooter.
Harnes has not wanted to give a statement to the police but are going to do so in court, according to his defense counsel, Øyvind Bratlien.
It is unclear what motive they had for wanting to murder Saber. Nor did Saber want to say anything about this, but he in court blamed the police for not doing enough to protect him.
– Forget about the Eirik Jensen case. It’s going to be small fry. It is their fault that several murder attempts have been made against me, cried Saber slamming the table.
Attempted to trick Betew
Nokas convicted Alf Christensen (55), told court that Betew contacted him after he was released from prison and asked him to ship a party of hashish using a sailboat from the Netherlands to Norway.
Christensen at first agreed, but later regretted. Nevertheless, he received NOK 150,000 as advance for the job.
After that he got help from a friend and two others – who are also indicted in the case – twice to trick Betew by pretending that the boat trip was cancelled due to storms, he claimed in court.
One of the two, a 35-year-old from Arendal, has previously been convicted of drug crimes, but said in court that he had decided to break away from the environment and therefore wanted to help Christensen.
Haven’t done anything wrong
– It probably sounds weird, but the four of us have been absolutely sure we did not do anything wrong. The only wrong thing I have done is to enter into an agreement I should not have made, Christensen, who got 11 years for the Nokas robbery, stated in court.
Also a third attempt to ship the hashish using a camper car was deliberately thwarted, the two stated in court.
The prosecution on the other hand, believe that they can prove that the three intended to ship the drugs.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today