The first defendant in an attempted murder trial involving two Roma families showed the court in Oslo on Wednesday how he had used a machete to hack at his alleged victim’s arm. Five men are on trial for the attack against René Karoli and his 24-year-old son last April, which left the two critically injured.
Karoli and his son were attacked with a crowbar, machete, axe and knife at Torshov Bingo, following a longstanding conflict between the Josef and Karoli families, reported Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). The first defendant, a 31-year-old member of the Josef family, told the court Karoli stood up when the men entered the bingo hall, and a fight ensued between Karoli and the defendant’s 33-year-old brother over a crowbar.
The 31-year-old said he used a machete to intervene. He demonstrated on one of the lawyers how and where he had hacked at Karoli’s arm, but said he had never touched his son. He said the men then fled in a waiting car. A man with an axe was observed outside Torshov Bingo, but the defendant said he did not see him.
The defendant said they had gone to the bingo hall following a threatening phone call from Karoli. He admitted the machete and crowbar had been in the car, and said they were not usually kept there. “Our family is in conflict with the Karoli family, therefore these lay there,” he said. Lawyer Arild Holden said his client had no intention to kill, and only had the machete for self-defense. The accused said they only wanted to beat Karoli up because they were tired of his threats, and the machete was just to scare him.
Karoli’s son, now 25, also made his statement on Wednesday. He told how he spent almost a week in hospital after he was stabbed about 10 times. He said he had heard he was going to die before he and his father were attacked, and said he’d been threatened in the lead-up to the court case over the phone and on Facebook. The trial began on Tuesday, and will run for 12 days.