Charged cop faces more isolation

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Police investigators want an Oslo court to allow them to keep holding one of their own colleagues in isolation while they continue to probe corruption charges against him. The defense attorney for Eirik Jensen, a veteran police officer and leader, will contest the request while continuing to press for other demands.

The case against Jensen, which has deeply shaken the police department, is entering its second week on Tuesday. He’s already been ordered held for at least another two weeks but his court-ordered period of isolation is about to run out. Those investigating the charges against Jensen want it extended by another 14 days, claiming they’re still in the early stages of their probe.

Probe expanded
Both the state police investigation unit Kripos and the police unit investigating economic crimes, Økokrim, have joined the probe. Police officials say they’re using all available resources to either find cause for pursuing the charges against Jensen or dropping them. They remain tight-lipped, with Liv Øyen of the police’s internal affairs division (Spesialenheten) telling reporters last week only that “suspicions have not been weakened” since Jensen was arrested upon arriving at work two weeks ago and immediately jailed.

The case is tied to another investigation of a narcotics network in Bærum, where a 47-year-old investor and acquaintance of Jensen’s, Gjermund Cappelen, is the main defendant. He has admitted under police questioning that he has imported 20 tons of hash to Norway over many years, and claims Jensen helped him. That charge has stunned colleagues of Jensen, who simply don’t believe it. Jensen has worked for the Oslo Police District for around 30 years and led major crime-busting efforts including breaking up gangs and cracked down on motorcycle clubs. Some colleagues think he instead is being framed or charged as a diversion to the Bærum drug case.

‘Plot’ against Jensen
Newspaper Dagbladet reported late last week that some criminal sources also claim Jensen has been falsely charged in an effort to “get him out of play.” They claim the 47-year-old defendant in the Bærum case owes a criminal network several million kroner, and is lodging false charges against Jensen in order to get the debt erased.

Jensen’s defense attorney, Jen-Ove Hagen, claims his client still hasn’t been presented with any of the alleged evidence against him, or detailed charges. Hagen said he’s been questioned repeatedly about his own economic situation, including his sale and purchase of real estate, without the police finding anything unnatural. There are no signs, Hagen claims, that Jensen has been enriched in any way. Jensen himself continues to firmly deny guilt in the case.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund