David Toska, described as the criminal mastermind of a spectacular and deadly commando robbery in Stavanger in 2004, is now being allowed to serve his prison time at his home in Bergen. Newspaper VG reports that Toska has also started a job training program at a company called Lean Business.
Toska, age 41, was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for the NOKAS robbery, which took place during the Easter holiday week in April 2004. It led to a gunfight on the streets of downtown Stavanger in which a veteran police officer was shot and killed. The theft four months later of Edvard Munch’s paintings The Scream and Madonna from the Munch Museum in Oslo were also tied to the NOKAS robbery, allegedly as a means of diverting police from the robbery case.
Now, just 13 years later, VG reports Toska has been released from the prison in Bergen where he has served most of his jail term. His first opportunity for parole came in August last year, but after it became known that Toska had met with co-defendant Metkel Betew during a period of restricted liberty, the process was put on ice and Toska was returned to jail. In March he was once again allowed liberty and now the relative freedom to serve his sentence at home, albeit under strict supervision. VG reported that his time in and out of his home is controlled by prison officials, he’s been ordered to either study or work during his confinement and he’s not allowed any contact with others in the NOKAS robbery gang or their family members.
A total of 15 men were convicted for their roles in the NOKAS robbery on April 5, 2004. They initially got away with the equivalent of NOK 57.4 million in cash, most of which has never been recovered.
Toska’s ability to serve prison time at home is an example of Norway’s liberal prison system that stresses rehabilitation over punishment. His 20-year term is among the longest possible in Norway, with parole possible after serving two-thirds of it.