Hunter threatens case on wolf charge

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Police dropped the charges on Tuesday against one of the 12 men arrested for illegal wolf hunting in Hedmark last week. Licensed hunter Odd Arne Ås was angry police had kept him in custody for several days, and is considering litigation.

Ås, from Stor-Elvda, is a licensed hunter and has conducted many public hunting projects, reported Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). While he said the news the charges had been dropped was a great relief, he was angry about the police handling of his case and did not rule out litigation.

“I feel very suspicious and violated,” Ås said, telling NRK he now constantly feels like he’s being watched. “It is a violation. I didn’t know such a thing could happen.”

“Ås has been suspected in connection with lawful hunting, as he has conducted for the public, and that makes the case quite special,” said his lawyer, Jostein Løken. “It suggest that here have been major and serious misunderstandings in the case.”

The 12 were arrested last week after a large-scale investigation over winter involving about 70 Hedmark police and economic crime officers. They were charged with organized and environmental crime for illegally hunting wolves. Some of the men were kept in custody for most of the week while police investigated their mobile phone and computer data, as well as their weapons.

Tarjei Istad from the economic crime unit Økokrim said the ongoing investigation clarified that Ås had legal permits to kill wolves, so his case was dismissed. “We did what we could in advance, and now it has turned out that there was one legal challenge so we dropped the case. We thought we had avoided this, but the way it stood in winter it appeared to concern an illegality.”

None of the charges against the remaining 11 men were dropped on Tuesday.

newsinenglish.no staff