I am always thinking about Monika

Monika Sviglinskaja and her mom Kristina Sviglinskaja.Monika Sviglinskaja and her mom Kristina Sviglinskaja..Photo: Private / NTB scanpix

For four and a half year, Kristina Sviglinskaja has fought to get the truth about how her eight-year-old daughter Monika died.

On Monday, the court case against the mother’s ex-cohabitant who is suspected of murder. Kristina Sviglinskaja is in the rain outside of the courthouse in Bergen. In a few days, she will see her ex-cohabitant within the building. The previous assault-convicted 34-year old is accused of having strangled and killed her child. In four and half a year, the mother has waited for someone to be held accountable for the daughter’s death.

Expects nothing

The ex-cohabitant denies everything and claims he has not killed the eight-year-old.
He has insisted that he is innocent in several interviews recently. He says that he can explain why the police investigation has found his DNA on several places of the eight-year-old’s body.
-I do not expect anything from him and am not surprised that he denies it. I do not expect anything else, says Kristina Sviglinskaja with a low voice to NTB.

In the time after the murder of her daughter, she travelled back to her family in Lithuania. Now she is back in Norway, is living here again and in a new job. She says that she will follow the whole four-week long court case against the man who is being suspected of the murder of the eight-year-old.

The public has to know

Pictures of the young girl on known places in Bergen, with or without the mother, have been regularly seen in the country’s media in the years after the murder. Kristina and her counsel Stig Nilsen realized that the case will never be solved without the public getting a view into what they believe, are large weaknesses of the police investigation.

Today, Monika would have been 13 years old if she were alive
– I am always thinking about Monika. All the time, says Kristina Sviglinskaja on the question whether she thinks about how her daughter would have been today.

Decisive support

A quiet, but headstrong mother was able to turn the case. She was able to do so with support from a brave counsel and experts on police work, who dared to break with routine and go against colleagues.
– What has meant a lot is that I have been getting a lot of support. From family, but also from many completely unknown people who have supported me, says Sviglinskaja.

For a long time, it appeared that the eight-year-old’s death would be shelved as a suicide. The police investigators believed that they found little evidence that pointed toward the direction that something criminal was behind the girl’s death.

In an internal note from the police in Bergen, which became known last year in fall, the investigators admitted that suicide among children was unusual, but claimed that this is different among children in East-Europe. After the investigation of the case was taken up again, several pieces of evidence was found and DNA was also found from the now suspected, 34 year old.

Large consequences
The small Lithuanian woman has stood up for four and a half years. Rarely has such simple police work lead to bigger consequences for the police itself. The whistleblower Robin Schaefers’s history about the investigation lead to the whole, previous Bergen police district being turned upside down. The Attorney General has criticized the investigation and the Special Unit for police investigation has fined the district for gross negligence in service. Several have chosen to quit; the Police Chief Geir Gudmundsson quit the position last year spring.
I have been thinking that it is important, that this does not occur again to anyone. However, I was relieved and very thankful for what Robin Schaefer did, and that he had the will and the strength to do as much as he did, Kristina Sviglinskaja says.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today