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Monday, April 15, 2024

New DNA results ‘torpedo’ murder defendant’s testimony

Jan Helge Andersen, who’s already been released from prison for his role in the murder of two little girls in Kristiansand 21 years ago, has been called in by police for more questioning in the case. New and far more advanced DNA testing methods have now linked him to the rapes and murders of both girls, and his alleged accomplice may be cleared.

State broadcaster NRK reported Tuesday that the new DNA test results, conducted by the forensic medical unit of Oslo University Hospital, have found Andersen’s DNA in three places on the body of 10-year-old Lena Sløgedal Paulsen and on her clothing. He has earlier denied that he also attacked the 10-year-old, admitting only to the attacks on her young friend, eight-year-old Stine Sofie Sørstrønen.

Andersen has also consistently blamed his alleged accomplice Viggo Kristiansen as being behind the attacks at the popular recreational area of Baneheia in Kristiansand on May 19, 2020. The murders of the two girls who’d gone out swimming that day rank as among the most publicly debated in Norway ever. Andersen ended up with a 19-year sentence and has since been released. Kristiansen was sentenced to 21 years and released this past June after his case was reopened earlier this year. Andersen’s defense attorney Svein Holden confirmed that his client has been called in for more questioning after new rounds in recent days.

Kristiansen has long claimed innocence and that Andersen was behind both murders, while Andersen claimed Kristiansen had lured the girls into a trap and initiated the rapes, with the murders committed to cover up the sexual assaults. The leader of a support group for Kristiansen, Terje Helland, told NRK that he thinks the new findings “torpedo Jan Helge Andersen’s claims. It means that what he’s testified earlier can’t be right.”

Evidence later emerged showing traffic on Kristiansen’s mobil telephone during the time the rapes and murders occurred, via a base station that did not cover the Baneheia area. That suggests Kristiansen wasn’t at the scene of the crimes. Kristiansen’s attorney, Arve Sjødin, called the new DNA results “important” extra information, and that his client has reason to be optimistic he’ll be cleared of the rapes and murders. staff




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