Convicted cop’s appeals trial begins

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Oslo’s largest courtroom was filling up once again on Tuesday, when Oslo police veteran Eirik Jensen launched his appeal of last year’s conviction on corruption and hash-smuggling charges. The appeals trial is due to proceed over the next five months.

Jensen arrived at the courthouse just before proceedings began to select a 12-person jury to hear his appeal. Jensen was sentenced to 21 years in prison after being convicted of helping the so-called “hash baron” Gjermund Cappelen smuggle 13.9 tons of hash into Norway.

Cappelen is also appealing his sentence of 15 years, which was shortened because of his decision to implicate Jensen and cooperate with authorities in revealing Jensen’s alleged role in the smuggling operation. Cappelen wants a shorter sentence, while Jensen still claims he’s innocent of the corruption and smuggling charges against him.

The trial, the last to be conducted with a full jury following changes in the court system, comes amidst calls for an ongoing investigation of the Oslo Police District. Norway’s justice minister at the time, the director of the state police and Oslo’s police chief all agreed there was a need to investigate corruption and how a trusted police investigator like Jensen could have been allowed to work with Cappelen as an alleged informer for so long.

Since then the investigation has stalled and won’t begin, at any rate, until after Jensen’s appeal is heard. Newspaper Aftenposten was among those claiming, in an editorial on Tuesday, that an investigation remains extremely important, and should have already been underway. staff