The now-29-year-old defendant in the murder of his 17-year-old wife in the small town of Grua, Oppland County, early last summer has finally admitted criminal responsibility, after consistently denying blame for month. Prosecutors at his trial, which began this week, suspect jealousy and a quarrel between the two as motives for the murder.
Newspaper Aftenposten reported Tuesday that the victim was only 14 years old when she was married off to her 11-year-older cousin in Afghanistan. A year later she gave birth to a little girl, and then the couple later fled Afghanistan with their daughter.
They arrived in Norway in March 2013 and the young woman sought asylum with the couple’s daughter. As a minor apparently alone in Norway with a child, she was granted temporary residence and was living in an asylum center on Norway’s south coast.
Her husband did not seek asylum and instead lived illegally in Norway, staying in the home of his wife’s older sister in Grua, about an hour north of Oslo. In June, his wife and daughter came to visit, and she was fatally stabbed three times in the stomach the next day.
The man then disappeared with the little girl, first taking a train to Oslo, then a bus to Copenhagen. He was tracked down and arrested in Rome four days later. He was extradited to Norway two months later, and his daughter has been placed with child welfare authorities.
He admitted to the murder on Friday, reported Aftenposten, after earlier suggesting that either his wife had committed suicide or that others had killed her. Now prosecutors believe he killed her because she wanted a divorce and hadn’t included him in her asylum application.