A 27-year-old man who stabbed his case worker inside her office at Norway’s state welfare agency NAV last year was committed to psychiatric care on Monday. He had admitted to the stabbing but denied criminal responsibility, claiming he felt threatened.
Anni Rachmawati Godager, age 34, was stabbed repeatedly at NAV’s Grorud office in Oslo in August 2013. She died from her stab wounds three days later.
The defendant had a long history of psychiatric problems and was declared psychotic in 2009. Court-appointed psychiatrists testified that he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. Prosecutors had asked that he be committed to a psychiatric hospital.
Debate is running high over Norway’s psychiatric care and a legal system that often releases psychiatric patients who have committed murder after a relatively short period of confinement. The defendant in another stabbing murder at Bislet in Oslo just two years ago was also committed to psychiatric care, but relatives of his victim were alarmed and upset to be told earlier this month that he’s already being recommended for release. That means murderers can go free after a relatively short period of custody, leading to calls for both more commitment of mentally unstable patients to locked psychiatric hospitals, and reform of Norwegian laws regarding criminal liability.