Court agrees to release NOKAS robber who also killed veteran police officer

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A local court in Trondheim  agreed on Monday that Kjell Alrich Schumann, who killed a police officer after taking part in Norway’s biggest robbery ever, has met conditions for early release from prison. The court thinks it’s okay for Schumann to be released on probation after serving 10 years of his 16-year sentence.

Schumann, who had a history of convictions before he helped mastermind the commando-style robbery of a NOKAS currency depot in Stavanger in April 2004, was sentenced to 16 years of a special form of custody called forvaring, meant to protect the public. Under Norwegian law, though, he was eligible to apply for release from custody after just 10 years.

‘Naturally very glad’
Prosecutors are now trying to get that minimum custody level raised to 14 years, but in the meantime, the Sør-Trøndelag tingrett believed Schumann’s claims that he’s become “a new person” and should be allowed to return to society. His defense attorney, Fredrik Schøne Brodwall, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that Schumann “was naturally very glad to hear the court’s decision.”

He won’t be released at once, however, because prosecutors are expected to appeal and have two weeks in which to do so.

Schumann also would be subject to what the Norwegian legal system considers strict supervision during his parole period. The plan, reports NRK, is for Schumann to live in a basement apartment on his family’s farm in Finnskogen, Hedmark County.

He reportedly has been offered a permanent job with a construction firm in the area, and the mayor of his home community of Åsnes claims Schumann has “the full right to move home.” He will need to report regularly to parole officers and must continue to hold a full-time job. Any change of employer must be cleared with the parole officers.

Schumann will also be required to remain at home between 11pm and 6am and must report any intention to spend the night elsewhere. He also will be required to continue treatment with a psychologist, as long as such care is officially deemed necessary.

‘Forgiven’ by son of murdered cop
The NOKAS robbery still ranks as the largest ever in Norway, and most of the more than NOK 50 million worth of stolen cash has never been recovered. Schumann, who took part in the commando-style break-in and robbery, later admitted that he was the masked and heavily armed robber who shot and killed police officer Arne Sigve Klungland during a gun battle that ensured on the street in front of the Stavanger Cathedral just after the robbery, which took place during the Easter Week holiday nearly 10 years ago.

The gang of NOKAS robbers later was also tied to the theft of two of the world’s most valuable paintings from the Munch Museum in Oslo, The Scream and Madonna, as part of an effort to divert police attention from their investigation into the NOKAS case.

Kjetil Klungland, son of the murdered police officer, has met with Schumann and earlier said he has forgiven him for killing his father. Klungland had no comment on the court’s decision to release Schumann, other than to say that “the court has made it’s determination and that’s enough for me.”

Schumann has been serving his sentence in a prison in Trondheim, which is why his demand for early release was handled by the local court there.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund