Orderud murders

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Event.png Orderud murders (assassination,  cover-up) Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
DateMay 22, 1999

The Orderud case (Norwegian: Orderud-saken) was a triple murder that occurred in Norway on 22 May 1999. Intelligence officer Anne Orderud Paust and her parents were executed, whereby her brother and three other relatives were convicted of the murder, in an obvious wrongful conviction involving fabricated evidence, witness harassment and deep state directions to secure a conviction.

The murder was in all likelihood done by a hit-man, and the motive connected to her and her husband's intelligence work in the former Yugoslavia[1], where Norway was active in a decade of joint NATO war and regime change efforts involving criminal gangs.

The case probably generated the most media attention of any criminal case in Norwegian history.

Official narrative

On the night of 22 May 1999, Kristian Orderud (81) and Marie Orderud (84), as well as their daughter Anne Orderud Paust (47) were shot dead at Orderud farm in Sørum in Akershus County. The victims were found in their nightwear in the same room, shot with multiple shots from very close range, including a shot to the neck.[2]

On June 11, 1999, Kristin Kirkemo, Per Kristian Orderud's sister-in-law, and her ex-boyfriend Lars Grønnerød were arrested and charged with violating the Weapons Act. On June 14, 1999, Per Kristian (son of Kristian and Marie) and his wife Veronica Orderud were arrested and charged with premeditated murder or complicity in premeditated murder, and convicted of complicity in premeditated murder in 2001. There was an ongoing dispute between Kristian Orderud and Per Orderud about the farm, and prosecutors claimed that this was the motive for the triple murder.[2]

The Orderud-couple and Kirkemo were sentenced to 21 years in prison for premeditated murder or complicity in premeditated murder. Lars Grønnerød was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for negligent complicity in murder. In a prosecution appeal, Grønnerød's sentence was extended to 18 years in prison.[2]

Problems with official narrative

Anne's job as intelligence worked were not mentioned at all in the first official narrative, and is still seen as totally irrelevant. The police used Commercially-controlled media to vilify especially Veronica Orderud .[3]

Extraordinary in a murder case with four people charged and extensively interrogated, there were no confessions. Kristin Kirkemo confessed to buying two guns, which she gave to Per and Veronica in December 1998. She also confessed to having overheard the planning of the murders of Per Orderud's parents and sister and her husband, Per Paust. Central to her defense was the alibi given to her by the newspaper delivery man Tommy Karlsen. She got a milder conviction than the other three, but in her book Fanget og fri, she says she is innocent, but can't prove who committed the murders.

Car bomb, fire boming and premature cancer death

On 17 July 1998, while heading to work at the Ministry of Defence, the Norwegian defense minister's personal secretary, Anne Orderud Paust, discovered a charge of explosives under her truck. The 500-gram explosive device was of the Solex type. The incident was given "extremely high priority" with the Oslo police.[4] On 12 August, her husband Per Paust, a high level Ministry of Foreign Affairs official, stated that there had been an attempt to ignite a propane gas tank at the stairwell of their apartment in Skillebekk, Oslo. He discovered the 5-kilogram tank with an open vent outside his door, which was doused in gasoline. Officials from the fire department claimed that the whole building could easily have been "blown apart".[5] These two assassination attempts received wide publicity and caused a media sensation. In the end no one was charged or arrested in connection with either of the two incidents.[6]

The couple then spent a few months in New York City where Per worked as a temporary Consul-General, returning to Norway in January 1999. Per Paust was then diagnosed with cancer and died after a short illness in May that same year.[7][8] Around 15 May, an anonymous person called and warned the authorities that Anne Paust and her parents would be murdered. Despite extensive searches, the caller was never found, and one week later the same people were found dead.[9]

Witness harassed by police

Tommy Karlsen (who afterward changed his name to Tommy Benjaminsen) was one of the witnesses in the case. He was initially charged with false testimony, but the charges were dropped by the prosecution after almost two years, and he escaped punishment.

Benjaminsen claimed in interrogation that he was with Kristin Kirkemo the night of 22. May 1999 and that they together drove out and distributed Aftenposten. Benjaminsen claimed to have used Kirkemo's phone on the night in question to make prank calls, and phone transcripts confirm the calls he referred to. His explanation was not believed, and he was charged. The police claimed Benjaminsen had borrowed Kirkemo's phone without her even being with him the night in question.[10]

Fabricating evidence

In January 2023, Per Orderud has reported former Kripos inspector for fabricating evidence. Private investigator Tore Sandberg and lawyer Arvid Sjodin, who both have been engaged in the case, support Orderud. Former deputy director of Kripos Knut Holen also believes that it has been fabricated. Bakken denies fabricating evidence: "What I said in court is the truth. When the piece of wood was split, we found a projectile after we had examined the piece of wood in an X-ray machine". The fabrication allegation is investigated by the police itself.[11]

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