Psychiatrists were recommending full observation of a 24-year-old Norwegian man to determine his ability to stand trial for the murder of prostitute Galina Sandeva in Oslo last month. He has now admitted killing her, but denies criminal liability.
The young man from Hedmark County in southeastern Norway was arrested earlier this week after an intense police investigation that ran through the Christmas and New Year holidays. Sandeva, originally from Bulgaria, was found murdered in her car on Oslo’s waterfront on December 17.
The crime set off fear among prostitutes and police promised they would not prosecute any customers who came forward with information that could help them find Sandeva’s killer. It’s not illegal to sell sex in Norway but it is illegal to buy it.
The 24-year-old defendant was ordered held in custody for at least four weeks while police continue their investigation. “He has admitted to the murder, and we believe it was carried out with a knife,” prosecutor Tina Bjarkø Helleland of the Oslo Police District told news bureau NTB. The murder weapon, however, had not yet been recovered.
Questions have arisen over the state of the defendant’s mind at the time of the murder. His friends and acquaintances are shocked by the charges against him, describing him as kind and mild-mannered. Police told state broadcaster NRK they were proceeding with the call for a judicial psychiatric evaluation.