Per and Veronica Orderud, convicted in 2002 in connection with the triple murder of Per Orderud’s parents and sister at the family farm northeast of Oslo, formally filed Friday for a re-opening of the case. They still insist they’re not guilty, after spending nearly 16 years in prison.
Both were sentenced to Norway’s longest prison term of 21 years, but were released early in line with probation customs three years ago. The Orderud murder case is unusual, since no one was convicted of the actual murders by gunshot in 1999 of farmers Kristian and Marie Orderud and their daughter Anne Orderud Paust, who was married to diplomat Per Paust and lived in Oslo but was visiting her parents on the fateful weekend when the murders occurred.
Per and Veronica Orderud, who were not on good terms with his family, since divorced and now believe they know who actually shot the elder Orderuds and Paust. Much of their case is based on the work of private investigator Tore Sandberg. He has delivered more than 1,000 pages and 28 videos of material to the state commission charged with evalutating whether criminal investigations should be re-opened.
“It’s been a very comprehensive job,” Sandberg told state broadcaster NRK. He said he was contacted by Per and Veronica Orderud in 2006, but had started gathering information on the case himself shortly after the murders were committed.
He claims there’s new evidence in the case that he believes will clear Per and Veronica Orderud. Also convicted as accessories to the murders were Veronica Orderud’s half sister Kristen Kirkemo and her former boyfriend Lars Grønnerød, both of whom had testified that they had helped acquire two weapons that were handed over to Per Orderud during the Christmas holidays of 1998. Two different guns were used in the triple murder at the Orderud farm, but the murder weapons have never been found.