A man in his 40s agreed on Monday to remain in jail for at least the next four weeks, while police continue to investigate his allegedly murderous rampage on the Finnmark plateau over the weekend. It included driving a a tractor while under the influence of alcohol, using it to block access to a relative’s holiday home and then fatally shooting his former brother-in-law.
The bizarre chain of events began on Saturday afternoon, when the brother-in-law, a longtime pilot for Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), called police to report that his ex-wife’s brother was driving his tractor while drunk and had dumped large quantities of snow on the pilot’s driveway, blocking access to the holiday home (hytte) in Cudejohka, Kautokeino.
Police arrived and arrested the errant tractor driver, brought him in for questioning and blood tests, but then drove him home again under what police claim was standard procedure. Later that evening, police got another call from an unidentified witness at the pilot’s hytte, reporting that the man they’d brought in but released had returned and fatally shot his former brother-in-law.
The man was arrested at his own home about two hours later and charged with premeditated murder. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported he was in no condition to be questioned on Sunday, but on Monday, his defense lawyer said he was “completely crushed” and that the most important thing was not to contest the arrest and custody order out of consideration for the victim’s family. The murdered 52-year-old pilot lived in Alta and had three children with the suspect’s sister.