OSLO/HAMMERFEST (VG) – Everything feels so slow. Ruwaita Mohamed, the sister of Abdullahi (23), who has been missing for almost two years, says that even after two years, nothing has happened in the case with my brother.
– You cannot think about the future. It takes over your whole life, she says.
In the two years since his disappearance, it has been difficult for the family to live with the uncertainty of what happened to the 23-year-old who disappeared without a trace from Hammerfest on 18 December 2020.
The family has now requested the appointment of a legal aid lawyer and the police have submitted a petition in this regard to the court, police in Hammerfest told VG on Friday.
Rueda says she didn’t know about the arrangement with legal aid until Thursday, when Viji contacted the family.
– For me, it is completely unknown what a legal aid lawyer does, he says on Friday.
– Infinite sadness
Now the family has yet to hire one, but if the police plea is accepted, the family who have been trying to get answers to the case will finally have the help of a lawyer.
– No one deserves to live like that. I feel completely helpless and want answers to what happened, says Rueda.
Earlier in the week, he told VG that it was important for people to know that There is a missing person And “someone knows what happened to this person”.
He describes the extremely difficult situation of a Somali family who arrived in Norway in 2011. Now he believes a legal aid lawyer can help with the questions they have.
– Now we live in endless misery. Because we don’t know whether he is alive or not. I feel stuck, I live the same day over and over again, she says.
– Inquiries may be requested
An arrangement with legal aid is approved Chapter 9 of the Code of Criminal Procedure a.
Sometimes you can get legal aid automatically. This applies to violations of specific criminal provisions, if there is reason to believe that the victim will suffer significant physical or health harm as a result of the act, or in cases where a person under the age of 18 has died as a result of the act.
The court may also appoint a legal aid attorney In other cases the nature and seriousness of the case, consideration for victims or other special circumstances indicate the need for a lawyer.
– What can the assistant lawyer contribute?
– First and foremost, the assistant attorney must protect the procedural rights of the next of kin. This includes accessing court documents, being present during court hearings and reconstructions, and generally looking after the interests of victims and survivors, says Christian Lundin, a lawyer and member of the legal aid committee of the Norwegian Bar Association.
Relatives and survivors of criminal cases need good information about what’s going on in the case, she says.
– Also, says Lundin, the state prosecutor may request that investigative measures be taken in this case.
– Should this family be provided with a publicly appointed legal aid lawyer?
– Yes, by law, police must inform victims and survivors of the possibility of hiring a legal aid attorney when they first contact them. If it is true that the police did not inform this family at an earlier stage of the possibility of applying for legal aid, it is startling. Whether the court will accept such a request is another question.
– Another missing person case
The State Attorney’s Office assesses the next of kin’s need to appoint an assistant attorney. Asked why Abdullahi’s family had not received it until now, lawyer Morton Day replied that the regulations surrounding it were strict.
– In this case, the missing person is above 18 years of age and we have no evidence to claim before whether his disappearance was due to criminal act or not.
Also, Daae says there is no basis so far for the family to appoint an assistant attorney.
– We notify next of kin directly through a designated next of kin rather than through an attorney.
New information has emerged in the case, meaning that is now the police’s leading hypothesis Abdullahi was subjected to violent acts. Dorstein Petersen, head of tactical investigations in the Finnmark police district, said on Wednesday.
– Why did it take so long for the police to treat this as a criminal case?
– We have been working on several hypotheses since the beginning – including that it was a criminal act.
However, prosecutor Anja Mikkelsen Intbjor emphasized that the case is still considered a case of missing persons.
– This is still a missing persons case, and there are no suspects in the case.
During the nearly two-year investigation, police did not respond to questions about whether they had informed the relatives of the possibility of hiring a paralegal.
Expanding the search with dogs
On Friday, new arrangements were made to search for the missing person in the same area around the stadium The police called off the search Thursday.
– We want to do more searches in that area and expand the search area. Peterson says in a press release that by the end of the week, Hammerfest will have several new pieces of equipment, including crime detection dogs.
The arriving detection dogs belong to the Finnish police.
– We greatly appreciate the help of colleagues in Finland and the help of Kripos. Kripos is assisting us with tactical investigation management and the criminal investigation dog that participated Thursday and earlier this fall.
Preparations for the new searches took place on Friday, including drilling into the ground to give the dogs a better scent picture before they are used in searches over the weekend.
– At the same time, I would like to clarify that marking from a criminal detection dog is not a definitive answer, but only an indicator and decision support in the search work. We are not yet sure that the missing person is in this area, but we would like to conduct further searches. The absence of findings or clues is interesting for investigative purposes.
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