Egil Tostrup Bråten, a young man from Hedmark who moved to Oslo to study and work, was found stabbed to death just outside his own downtown apartment building in 2002. Police never gave up trying to find out who murdered him, and the defendants’ trial began in the Oslo City Court this week.
“It’s fantastic that the police never gave up,” Bråten’s father told newspaper Aftenposten as he and other family members gathered in the courtroom. Steinar Bråten said it was “an incredible feeling” when Oslo Police Inspector Grete Lien Metlid called last November and said that suspects had been arrested. They’d been questioned by police earlier but it was only 14 years later that new DNA evidence led to their apprehension, and confessions.
Both claimed they had only intended to rob Bråten, who was on his way home after going to the movies and eating pizza with friends. Bråten put up resistance, though, which led them to attack him with a screwdriver and knives.
Both assailants, now age 30 and 33, denied charges of pre-meditated murder but admit to killing Bråten. The 30-year-old had moved on from his criminal past and had studied medicine in the Czech Republic for three years when he was arrested last fall. Both face lengthy prisons terms.